- the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.
- the word or phrase used in this way.
- to make puns.
Origin of pun
Examples from the Web for pun
“There aren't any steaks involved, pardon the pun,” says Chin.Adventure Photographer Jimmy Chin: Defying the Rational, Physically and Creatively
October 6, 2014
A paper published this week illuminated (pun intended) the relationship between light and matter.We Can Create Matter from Light?!
Matthew R. Francis
May 20, 2014
But at least they "forge" (pun intended) the pieces by him that matter.Iron Man XVII
January 24, 2014
Flag burning was once, pardon the pun, the “hot” social issue on Capitol Hill.The Hottest Constitutional Amendments of 2013
December 26, 2013
“Once Pun died, I went on a diet and lost like 100 pounds,” Fat Joe told VladTV.Where Have All the Fat Rappers Gone? Or, How Hip-Hop Lost All the Weight.
August 28, 2013
He would have to remember the pun to tell Alec Diger later, if there was a later.The Velvet Glove
I explained that he probably intended a pun upon his name, which was Coleman.Frank Fairlegh
Frank E. Smedley
This is a pun, which, profound in itself, you must not expect to enjoy at first reading.Letters of Edward FitzGerald
"He's a bad pill," said another, repeating a pun already old.Other Main-Travelled Roads
Daniel Purcell, the famous punster, was desired to make a pun extempore.The Jest Book
- the use of words or phrases to exploit ambiguities and innuendoes in their meaning, usually for humorous effect; a play on words. An example is: "Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannonball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms." (Thomas Hood)
- (intr) to make puns
- (tr) British to pack (earth, rubble, etc) by pounding
Word Origin and History for pun
1660s (first attested in Dryden), of uncertain origin, perhaps from pundigron, which is perhaps a humorous alteration of Italian puntiglio "equivocation, trivial objection," diminutive of Latin punctum "point." This is pure speculation. The verb also is attested from 1660s. Related: Punned; punning.
Pun was prob. one of the clipped words, such as cit, mob, nob, snob, which came into fashionable slang at or after the Restoration. [OED]
“And how many hours a day did you do lessons?” said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
“Ten hours the first day,” said the Mock Turtle, “nine the next, and so on.”
“What a curious plan!” exclaimed Alice.
“That's the reason they're called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”