punch card


Definition of 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 Previous SlideNext Slide Because the Jacquard machine relied on replaceable punch cards to control a sequence of operations, it's deemed to be a forerunner of computer programming. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "This “essential piece of computing history” just sold for $43,750," 17 Dec. 2019 Prices for pet owners to be a part of The Pack range from $30 to $200 — a five visit punch card and doggy day care will cost dog owners $30, while the annual membership is $200. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's first indoor dog park to open this summer, serve beer and wine," 13 Jan. 2020 While the 2019 event provided unlimited pizza offerings, this year, each person will receive a punch card in order to get pizza slices from vendors. John Benson, cleveland, "Young Professionals of Parma’s second annual Parma Pizza Bake Off returns Jan. 23," 30 Dec. 2019 Mainframe computers driven by paper punch cards have given way to supercomputers running trillions of calculations in 1 second. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming," 4 Dec. 2019 Long-term storage was left to mediums like magnetic tape and punch cards. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Microsoft Stored an Entire Superman Movie on a Piece of Glass," 4 Nov. 2019 There would’ve been a small station with a keyboard and a very basic monitor, but much of the data for the machine would’ve been stored on punch cards. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "From dial-up to 5G: a complete guide to logging on to the internet," 29 Oct. 2019 The first programmable computer—if it were built—would have been a gigantic, mechanical thing clunking along with gears and levers and punch cards. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, "In Celebration of Ada Lovelace, the First Computer Programmer," 14 Oct. 2015 With time sharing, the programs weren’t printed off on punch cards, they were written and stored on the mainframe. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Unix at 50: How the OS that powered smartphones started from failure," 29 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punch card.' 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 punch card

1881, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for punch card

Time Traveler

The first known use of punch card was in 1881

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Statistics for punch card

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Punch card.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punch%20card. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for punch card

punch card


English Language Learners Definition of punch card

: a card with holes that have been punched in different positions to represent information

More from Merriam-Webster on punch card

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with punch card

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