pound 2 (pound)
v. pound·ed, pound·ing, pounds
a. To strike repeatedly and forcefully, especially with the hand or a tool: pounded the nail with a hammer. See Synonyms at beat.
b. To assault with military force: pounded the bunker with mortars.
c. To beat to a powder or pulp; pulverize or crush: pound corn into meal.
2. To instill by persistent, emphatic repetition: pounded knowledge into the students' heads.
3. To produce energetically, as from forceful use of the hands. Often used with out: "a tinny piano pounding out Happy Birthday down the block" (Laura Kascischke).
4. To cause harm or loss to; affect adversely: stocks that were pounded when energy prices rose.
5. To defeat soundly: pounded their rivals in the season finale.
6. To attack verbally; criticize: was pounded for months in the press.
7. Slang To drink quickly (a beverage, especially an alcoholic one). Often used with back or down: pounded back a few beers after work.
1. To strike vigorous, repeated blows: He pounded on the table.
2. To move along heavily and noisily: The children pounded up the stairs.
3. To pulsate rapidly and heavily; throb: My heart pounded.
4. To move or work laboriously: a ship that pounded through heavy seas.
1. A heavy blow.
2. The sound of a heavy blow; a thump.
3. The act of pounding.
pound the pavement Slang
To travel the streets on foot, especially in search of work.
[Middle English pounden, alteration of pounen, from Old English pūnian.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.