Idioms

    pull punches,
    1. to lessen deliberately the force of one's blows.
    2. Informal. to act with restraint or hold back the full force or implications of something: He wasn't going to pull any punches when he warned them of what they would be up against.
    roll with the punches, Informal. to cope with and survive adversity: In the business world you quickly learn to roll with the punches.

Origin of punch

1
1350–1400; Middle English punchen (v.); apparently variant of pounce1

Related forms

punch·er, noun

Definition for punch (2 of 4)

punch

2
[ puhnch ]
/ pʌntʃ /

noun

a tool or machine for perforating or stamping materials, driving nails, etc.
the solid upper die of a punch press, used with a hollow die to blank out shaped pieces of sheet metal or the like.

verb (used with object)

to cut, stamp, pierce, perforate, form, or drive with a tool or machine that punches.

verb (used without object)

to work at or on something with or as if with a mechanical punch.

Origin of punch

2
1495–1505; short for puncheon2, reinforced by punch1

Related forms

punch·a·ble, adjective

Definition for punch (3 of 4)

punch

3
[ puhnch ]
/ pʌntʃ /

noun

a beverage consisting of wine or spirits mixed with fruit juice, soda, water, milk, or the like, and flavored with sugar, spices, etc.
a beverage of two or more fruit juices, sugar, and water, sometimes carbonated.

Origin of punch

3
First recorded in 1625–35; of uncertain origin

Definition for punch (4 of 4)

Punch

[ puhnch ]
/ pʌntʃ /

noun

the chief male character in a Punch-and-Judy show.

Origin of Punch

short for punchinello
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for punch

British Dictionary definitions for punch (1 of 4)

punch

1
/ (pʌntʃ) /

verb

to strike blows (at), esp with a clenched fist
(tr) Western US to herd or drive (cattle), esp for a living
(tr) to poke or prod with a stick or similar object
punch above one's weight to do something that is considered to be beyond one's ability

noun

Derived Forms

puncher, noun

Word Origin for punch

C15: perhaps a variant of pounce ²

British Dictionary definitions for punch (2 of 4)

punch

2
/ (pʌntʃ) /

noun

verb

(tr) to pierce, cut, stamp, shape, or drive with a punch

Word Origin for punch

C14: shortened from puncheon, from Old French ponçon; see puncheon ²

British Dictionary definitions for punch (3 of 4)

punch

3
/ (pʌntʃ) /

noun

any mixed drink containing fruit juice and, usually, alcoholic liquor, generally hot and spiced

Word Origin for punch

C17: perhaps from Hindi pānch, from Sanskrit pañca five; the beverage originally included five ingredients

British Dictionary definitions for punch (4 of 4)

Punch

/ (pʌntʃ) /

noun

the main character in the traditional children's puppet show Punch and Judy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with punch

punch


In addition to the idioms beginning with punch

  • punch in
  • punch out

also see:

  • beat to it (the punch)
  • can't punch one's way out of a paper bag
  • pack a punch
  • pleased as punch
  • pull no punches
  • roll with the punches
  • sucker punch
  • throw a punch
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.