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 Some play major roles, while others show up for a punch line or two then waltz off into the Space Age distance. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 3 May 2024 Tangent Biden has used his own age as a punch line in public appearances in recent months. Sara Dorn, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Ryan Gosling's dog costar in his upcoming movie The Fall Guy is not just a punch line. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 14 Mar. 2024 Paramount—and the obscene wealth of Hollywood in general—was a frequent punch line for him, invoking, perhaps, the initial purpose of the Academy Awards themselves when they were started, in the late 1920s. Fran Hoepfner, The Atlantic, 10 Mar. 2024 But the punch line is quickly followed by a more honest admission. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 14 Feb. 2024 In private, Mayorkas—who is short, fit, and bald, with bushy eyebrows and a cadet’s ramrod posture—is ironic, sharp-witted, and charismatic, a raconteur who leaps out of his seat to exaggerate a detail or deliver a punch line. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 The punch line did not come close to the kind of satire Putin’s Russia needed and deserved. Simon Shuster, TIME, 4 Jan. 2024 The bleak statistic that half of marriages end in divorce has been in the zeitgeist for so long now that it’s become a punch line. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'punch line.' 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

1916, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of punch line was in 1916

Dictionary Entries Near punch line

Cite this Entry

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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