1

pun

noun \ ˈpən \
Updated on: 25 May 2018

Definition of pun

: the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound

Examples of pun in a Sentence

  1. The delicatessen is sandwiched, if you'll pardon the pun, between two stores.

  2. She's a skillful pilot whose career has—no pun intended—really taken off.

Recent Examples of pun from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pun.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

What is the Difference Between a double entendre and a pun?

The words double entendre and pun are both about double meanings. Double entendre, in fact, originated in an obsolete expression in French, which means “double meaning.” The origins of pun are less certain, but it likely traces to the Italian word puntiglio meaning “fine point, quibble.” In English, double entendre refers to a double meaning in which one meaning is usually shocking or risqué in its sexual suggestiveness. Pun usually has more to do with silly or humorous double meanings than with anything sexually suggestive or lewd.

Origin and Etymology of pun

perhaps from Italian puntiglio fine point, quibble — more at punctilio

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

pun

verb

Definition of pun

punned; punning
: to make puns

Examples of pun in a Sentence

  1. “Firefighting sparks my interest,” he punned.

Recent Examples of pun from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pun.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pun

1670

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


PUN Defined for English Language Learners

pun

Definition of pun for English Language Learners

  • : a humorous way of using a word or phrase so that more than one meaning is suggested


pun

Definition of pun for English Language Learners

  • : to make a pun


PUN Defined for Kids

1

pun

noun \ ˈpən \

Definition of pun for Students

: a form of joking in which a person uses a word in two senses

2

pun

verb

Definition of pun for Students

punned; punning
: to make a joke by using a word in two senses


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of the same or a similar kind or nature

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