penalty box

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penalty box (plural penalty boxes)

  1. (ice hockey) An enclosed bench where a player must remain for timed period (a penalty) that is assessed after an infraction.
    Both players got to cool their heels for five minutes in their respective penalty boxes after the fight.
  2. (soccer) The penalty area.
  3. (idiomatic, figuratively) A temporary punishment, or, metaphorically, a similar setback (e.g., loss of control, embarrassment, etc.).
    • 2003, Tim Breithaupt, 10 Steps to Sales Success: The Proven System That Can Shorten the Selling Cycle, Double Your Close Ratio, ISBN 081447165X, pg. 170:
      A visit to the penalty box occurs when the salesman has relinquished control of the sales call by immediately answering the customer's question.
    • 2003, John Portmann, Sex and heaven: Catholics in bed and at prayer, ISBN 0312294883, pg. 155:
      What can land you in this metaphorical holding cell, the penalty box of Catholicism?
    • 2008, John Zarrella and Patrick Oppmann, "Florida, Michigan seek exit from Democratic penalty box,", [1]:
      Florida, Michigan seek exit from Democratic penalty box