Green’s Dictionary of Slang

punish v.

1. [early 19C] to hurt badly in a boxing match or a fight.

2. [early 19C] to make inroads into, esp. a stock of food or wine.

3. [mid-19C+] to attack, esp. in sports.

4. [1940s+] to use something vigorously.

5. [1960s+] to play a musical instrument badly, thus ‘abusing’ it.

6. [1970s] (W.I., Bdos) to desire intensely.

In phrases

punish one’s teeth (v.)

[1920s] (US tramp) to eat.