punch card


: a card in which holes are punched in designated positions to represent data

called also Hollerith card, punched card

Examples of punch card in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It would be programmed by punch cards, like the industrial looms of the time. Charlie Fink, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Using rudimentary punch cards, Mr. Meyer dabbled in programming at Harvard’s computation center, which housed room-sized computers. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 Participants can pick up their punch cards at Haven (3381 30th St.), Louisiana Purchase (2305 University Ave.), or North Park Mini Park (3812 29th St.). Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Sep. 2023 Visit the four taprooms (which are within 0.3 mile of each other) and try each brewery’s beer special; that earns you a punch on a special punch card. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 Most of those mechanical calculators were eventually replaced by IBM punch card accounting machinery. Katie Hafner, Scientific American, 3 Aug. 2023 By age 12, Mr. Mitnick had figured out how to freely ride the bus using a $15 punch card and blank tickets fished from a dumpster. Orlando Mayorquin, BostonGlobe.com, 20 July 2023 Jim had a brief stint in the Army and then punched keys for a few years, back when data were stored on punch cards. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2023 Ice cream eaters will get a punch card and each card will have 60 punches. oregonlive, 30 Mar. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of punch card was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near punch card

Cite this Entry

“Punch card.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punch%20card. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!