pack a punch


Also, pack a wallop.

1

Be capable of a forceful blow; also, deliver a forceful blow. For example, Knowing Bob could pack a wicked punch, they were careful not to anger him, or She swung her handbag, really packing a wallop. [Colloquial; c. 1920]

2

Have a powerful effect, as in That vodka martini packed a wallop. Thomas Wolfe had this figurative usage in a letter (c. 1938): “I think my play, The House, will pack a punch.”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.