Word of the Day: punch

Word of the Day
May 20, 2016
punch (noun, verb)
/pʌntʃ/  sound icon
Punch is a popular drink at parties
A punch is, most commonly, a hard hit with the fist, and it can also be the power or impact of something. As a verb, to punch means 'to hit hard with the fist' or 'to press a key or button on a machine.' A punch is also a machine for making holes in paper or other materials and, as a verb, it means 'to make holes with a punch.'


Example sentences
The boxer's punch knocked her opponent out.
The company hoped their advertisements would have enough punch to sell their product.
When Steve saw his children punching each other, he gave them both a time-out.
The clerk punched some keys on the computer to access the information.
Karen used a punch to put another hole in her belt.
The ticket inspector punched Will's ticket.


Multi-word forms
not pull any punches: be very forthright, or honest, without trying to soften the impact of your words or actions. Example: "Wow, didn't pull any punches in that meeting; you told the board exactly what you thought!"
punch-up (UK): a fight, especially a disorderly one. Example: "The customers in the bar had had too much to drink and a silly argument quickly turned into a punch up."
punch above your weight: to do something that seems beyond your abilities. Example: "Really? You've been promoted to head of department? Are you sure you aren't punching above your weight?" This expression is also often used to suggest that a person's partner is significantly more attractive than him/her. Example: "Have you seen Jim's new girlfriend? She's gorgeous and she has a PhD; I reckon he's punching above his weight there!"
punch in, punch out: to register the time of your arrival at or departure from your workplace. Originally used because people literally punched a card when they arrived or left, now used more generally, regardless of the recording method. Example: "Tina works long hours; she punches in at 8 am every day and normally punches out at 6 or 7 pm." We can also say "clock in" or "clock out."
Did you know?
Punch is also a drink made from a mixture of other drinks with fruit, sugar, and spices. In the US this is usually nonalcoholic and is served at school dances, but in the UK it normally has alcohol in it. However, this is not the origin of the adjective "punch-drunk," used to refer to someone who seems dazed or confused. Originally this term came from boxing, where fighters can sometimes develop the symptoms of becoming dazed or stupefied because of taking so many punches to the head during their boxing careers.
Other forms
puncher (noun)
Punch dates back to the second half of the 14th century and comes from the Middle English word punchen, apparently a variant of "pounce." The machine sense dates back to the late 15th or early 16th century; it is a shorted version of sense 2 of "puncheon," reinforced by sense 1 of "punch."
Punch in other languages
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