Principally gauge traditional punishment in America? It has repellent nature (8)
I believe the answer is:
'it has repellent nature' is the definition.
(quality of being ugly or repellent)
'principally gauge traditional punishment in america?' is the wordplay.
'principally' suggests taking the first letters.
'traditional punishment' becomes 'lines' (writing the same thing over and over).
'in' is an insertion indicator.
'america?' becomes 'US' (United States).
The first letter of 'gauge' is 'g'.
'glines' inserted within 'us' is 'UGLINESS'.
(Other definitions for ugliness that I've seen before include "Unsightly appearance" , "Repulsive quality" , "Quality that gives no pleasure to the senses" , "Repulsive appearance" , "Unsightly quality" .)