punch line


Definition of punch line

: the sentence, statement, or phrase (as in a joke) that makes the point

Examples of punch line in a Sentence

She didn't understand the punch line.
Recent Examples on the Web What was once a punch line on two of the biggest sitcoms — a dig, make no mistake, directed at any expression of manhood that dared extend past the perimeter of prime time — has become an afterthought. Nick Haramis, New York Times, 8 Nov. 2021 On his first day on a series, a veteran white writer told a joke in which the punch line was a white woman calling a Black performer the N-word. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2021 Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Henny Youngman may have been indisputably funny, but the rimshot gag was the prevailing form, the punch line was king, and mother-in-law insults were legion. New York Times, 26 Oct. 2021 Instead Bargatze takes his audiences on strange, circuitous journeys that rarely conclude with an obvious punch line. Tim Alberta, The Atlantic, 8 Sep. 2021 The older guys watched this teenager punch line drive after line drive to right center with his inside-out swing and occasionally extend his arms and power a ball to left. Stephen Borelli, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2021 For all but the most ardent Bond aficionados, Connery's successor, George Lazenby, remains something between a footnote and a punch line — a one-and-done 007 who's little more than a trivia-night answer. Chris Nashawaty, EW.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Their voice will go up on the setup, pause for the optimum number of seconds, then hit their punch line loud for maximum effect. John Roy, Vulture, 15 Sep. 2021 But Rickles, via Macdonald’s retelling, gets the best punch line of this clip. Dan Reilly, Vulture, 15 Sep. 2021

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

1916, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for punch line

Time Traveler

The first known use of punch line was in 1916

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Dictionary Entries Near punch line

punching bag

punch line

punch list

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Statistics for punch line

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Punch line.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punch%20line. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for punch line

punch line


English Language Learners Definition of punch line

: the words at the end of a joke or story that make it funny, surprising, etc.


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