punch line


the climactic phrase or sentence in a joke, speech, advertisement, or humorous story that produces the desired effect.

Origin of punch line

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for punch line


Examples from the Web for punch line

Contemporary Examples of punch line

Historical Examples of punch line

  • He began to hold back slyly, like a comedian building up the tension before a punch-line.

    The Fourth R

    George Oliver Smith

British Dictionary definitions for punch line

punch line


the culminating part of a joke, funny story, etc, that gives it its humorous or dramatic point
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