Origin of punnet

First recorded in 1815–25; origin obscure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for punnet

Historical Examples of punnet

  • Your gardener said to me this morning: 'I'll pick a "punnet" of strawberries to-day.'

    His Lordship's Leopard

    David Dwight Wells

  • Incidentally he alluded quite familiarly to men with military titles, and once even to someone with a title, a Lady Punnet.


    H. G. Wells

  • Forty or fifty years ago a punnet or two of the attractive vivid scarlet fruit might be seen in season at Covent Garden Market.

    The Khedive's Country

    George Manville Fenn

  • Prime fruit ought to be scarce and dear, picked careful, and kept in the punnet.

British Dictionary definitions for punnet


  1. mainly British a small basket for fruit, such as strawberries

Word Origin for punnet

C19: perhaps diminutive of dialect pun pound ²
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

Word Origin and History for punnet

"small, round chip basket," 1822, chiefly British, of obscure origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper