punch 2 (pŭnch)
tr.v. punched, punch·ing, punch·es
a. To hit with a sharp blow of the fist.
b. To drive (the fist) into or through something.
c. To drive (a ball, for example) with the fist.
d. To make (a hole) by thrusting the fist.
a. Archaic To poke or prod with a stick.
b. Western US To herd (cattle).
3. To depress (the accelerator of a car) forcefully.
a. To depress (a key or button, for example) in order to activate a device or perform an operation: punched the "repeat" key.
b. To enter (data) by keying: punched in the number on the computer.
5. Baseball To hit (a ball) with a quick short swing.
1. A blow with the fist.
2. Impressive or effective force; impact. See Synonyms at vigor.
1. To check in formally at a job upon arrival.
2. To enter data on a keypad or similar device.
1. To check out formally at a job upon departure.
2. To hit (someone) with a powerful punch, often so as to render unconscious.
3. Baseball To call (a batter) out on a third strike, often using a punching motion as a signal.
To enliven or enhance: punched up the report by adding some relevant cartoons.
beat to the punch
To make the first decisive move: a marketing team that beat all the competitors to the punch.
punch the clock
1. To register one's arrive or departure at a job.
2. To be employed at a job with regular hours.
[Middle English punchen, to thrust, prod, prick, from Old French poinçonner, ponchonner, to emboss with a punch, from poinçon, ponchon, pointed tool; see PUNCHEON1.]
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
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