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Pu·​nic ˈpyü-nik How to pronounce Punic (audio)
: of or relating to Carthage or the Carthaginians


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: the Phoenician dialect of ancient Carthage

Examples of Punic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The first Italian to try to bridge the Messina Strait may have been Consul Lucius Metellus, circa 250 B.C.E. After winning the battle of Palermo in the Punic wars, his army was flush with bounty, including, according to Pliny the Elder, some 140 elephants. Gisela Salim-Peyer, The Atlantic, 11 Dec. 2023 The results of this unprecedented collection of climate data: In the third century B.C., when Rome fought the First and Second Punic wars against Carthage and began its ascent to Mediterranean empire, times were good. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 13 Jan. 2011
The Netflix movie will cover pivotal battles against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War fought between the two great empires of Rome and Carthage. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Nov. 2023 The kothon at Carthage protected its warships during the Punic Wars against the Roman Republic, when each side vied for mastery of the western Mediterranean. NBC News, 16 Mar. 2022 As a result, the internal workings of the Biden administration are so placid that probably more Americans know who won the Punic Wars (Rome) than the name of president’s chief of staff (Jeff Zients). Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 3 July 2023 The last major explosive eruption happened around 250 B.C., when the Punic Wars were raging in the Roman Empire. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Punic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Latin punicus, from Poenus inhabitant of Carthage; akin to Greek Phoinix Phoenician

First Known Use


1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1595, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Punic was in 1533

Dictionary Entries Near Punic

Cite this Entry

“Punic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Punic. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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