Dictionary.com

Punchinello

[ puhn-chuh-nel-oh ]
/ ˌpʌn tʃəˈnɛl oʊ /
Save This Word!

noun, plural Pun·chi·nel·los, Pun·chi·nel·loes.

a grotesque or absurd chief character in a puppet show of Italian origin: the prototype of Punch.
any similarly grotesque or absurd person or thing.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of Punchinello

1660–70; <Italian (Naples dial.) polecenella character in the puppet show, diminutive of polecana turkey-cock chick <Late Latin pullicēnus, derivative of Latin pulluspullet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for Punchinello

Punchinello
/ (ˌpʌntʃɪˈnɛləʊ) /

noun plural -los or -loes

a type of clown from Italian burlesque or puppet shows, the prototype of Punch
(sometimes not capital) any grotesque or absurd character
C17: from earlier Polichinello, from Italian (Neapolitan dialect) Polecenella, from Italian pulcino chicken, ultimately from Latin pullus young animal
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
What's This Word?