pun

noun
\ ˈpən How to pronounce pun (audio) \

Definition of pun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

pun

verb
punned; punning

Definition of pun (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make puns

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

Noun

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.

Examples of pun in a Sentence

Noun The delicatessen is sandwiched, if you'll pardon the pun, between two stores. She's a skillful pilot whose career has—no pun intended—really taken off. Verb “Firefighting sparks my interest,” he punned.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rocks and Minerals Hot stone massages are well and good, but these treatments will rock your world in a whole new way (pun obviously intended). Kate Wertheimer, Sunset Magazine, "The Ten Wellness Trends to Tune Into in 2020," 23 Jan. 2020 From Adam Sandler’s turn as a Diamond District screwup in Uncut Gems to Helen Mirren’s tour de force Catherine the Great, the year’s most talked-about performances featured cameos—no pun intended—by blockbuster bling. The Editors, Town & Country, "The 2020 Town & Country Jewelry Awards," 17 Jan. 2020 The Patriots are going to try to take the air out of the ball (no pun intended) with their No. John Holler, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NFL Prop Bet Payday: Wild Card Round Edition," 4 Jan. 2020 Michael TranGetty Images Actor, model, and activist Yara Shahidi just debuted a fabulous rainbow-unicorn look on Instagram that is unbelievably eye-catching (pun absolutely intended). Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Yara Shahidi's Unicorn Makeup Is a Gorgeous New Change for Her," 8 Nov. 2019 The battery was the biggest real sticking-point in the teardown—pun not intended—as its connector is pinned under the board, and the whole thing is glued down. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Microsoft finally built a repairable Surface Laptop," 24 Oct. 2019 Fresh Kicks, Money Moves, Rosé Season: These are just a few of the clever color names from paint startup Clare, which launched last year with the mission of shaking up the paint industry (pun always intended). Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "You Can Pick Clare's Newest Paint Color," 28 Mar. 2019 To get the Space Force launched — pardon the pun — will require more than the typical four-year service chief tenure. James Stavridis, Twin Cities, "James Stavridis: May the (Space) Force be with you," 31 Dec. 2019 Sara’s article breaks this data down into easily-digestible (pun intended!) charts, allowing readers to make the best choices for themselves and their planet. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, "Our favorite science and tech stories of 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Has Trump punned about Kamala Harris not coming out of an elevator alive? Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Trump — or What, Exactly?," 27 Aug. 2019 The pigs have pun-tastic names like Britney Spare Ribs, Kim Kardashi-ham, Harry Porker and Sponge-hog Pork Pants. Jason Gay, WSJ, "A Sports Column Goes to the Hogs," 11 Oct. 2018 Richardson uses words impishly, rhyming, punning and twisting idioms at a prodigious rate. Giles Harvey, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: ‘The Totally Football Show With James Richardson’," 3 July 2018 In spellings like conte, kointe, queinte, quoynte, and quaint, medieval authors—notably Chaucer—punned on the word. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What’s So Bad About the C-Word?," 5 June 2018 His lesson escalates into a campy tap routine, with funny title-punning blackouts during the traditional breaks in the music. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Ridiculous! Fabulous! On Broadway, Tapping in Quotation Marks," 15 May 2018 Saucy, punning monikers like Hazel Honeysuckle and Gal Friday are all of a piece with elaborate makeup jobs and spectacular, sometimes quasi-fantastical costuming — designed with rapid disrobing in mind. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story': Film Review | Venice 2017," 18 Sep. 2017 For fashion-lovers like ourselves, this is a prime time — pun 100 percent intended — to stock up on staple pieces at way cheaper price points. Kaleigh Fasanella, Teen Vogue, "Best Amazon Prime Day Fashion Deals," 11 July 2017 The answer to this question became the performance’s punning title. Jonah Weiner, New York Times, "The Magician Who Wants to Break Magic," 15 Mar. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of pun

Noun

1644, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1670, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pun

Noun

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

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Statistics for pun

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pun.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pun. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for pun

pun

noun
How to pronounce pun (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

pun

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pun (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a pun

pun

noun
\ ˈpən How to pronounce pun (audio) \

Kids Definition of pun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

pun

verb
punned; punning

Kids Definition of pun (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a joke by using a word in two senses

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More from Merriam-Webster on pun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pun

Spanish Central: Translation of pun

Nglish: Translation of pun for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pun for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pun

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