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Within the context of Guild Wars, punishment refers to the infliction of negative consequences, figurative penalties, for a foe's actions.

Skills that can be classified as punishment skills deal their primary effects in response to a specific action by the opponent. Power Spike, Backfire, Mark of Subversion and Concussion Shot punish the use of spells, while Clumsiness, Bane Signet and Images of Remorse punish attacks. Other skills can punish, among other things, signet use, movement, healing, blocking, and inaction. Punishment is a major focus of the Domination Magic attribute; however, all professions and many attributes have some punishment skills. In PvE, punishment skills are used almost exclusively to inflict their penalties, while in PvP, they are also useful to manipulate opponents towards or away from certain actions.

Punishing as a tactic refers to any tactic which inflicts extra negative consequences on the opponent for doing a particular action that would normally give them an advantage. Examples include penalizing melee characters of the other team for overextending outside their monk range or enemy midline casters playing closer to our monks then your team would like them to, or using area of effect skills against enemies trying to take advantage of a ward. Punishing the enemy usually implies applying pressure to push them back into a less favorable position where that less favorable position is the fastest way they can alleviate the pressure. A common tactic, as advertised on the Guild Wars box, is to apply snares and then apply damage.