1 of 2


chiefly British

punch up

2 of 2


punched up; punching up; punches up

transitive verb

: to give energy or forcefulness to
jokes added to punch up a speech

Examples of punch-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Songs like her new single, the LP’s title track, which came together in a late-night punch-up session with Alexander 23, showcase the album’s unflinching emotional honesty. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 22 June 2023 When Reaves hit Gustav Lindström later in the game, Ben Chiarot responded by dropping the gloves for a brief punch-up. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 18 Apr. 2023
She, too, will be pressed to punch up instead of down. National Review, 1 Nov. 2023 Chili crisp punches up mac ’n’ cheese, and more chiles season candied bacon for green beans. Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 The algorithms in our smartphones brighten eyes and teeth, smooth skin, punch up a sunset and artfully blur backgrounds. Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2023 Marvel didn’t just recast a side character or have someone punch up a script, no. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, 13 Oct. 2023 And then Parts 1 and 2 are about a guy looking at the establishment and punching up to try and succeed and going against a villain from the establishment. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 13 Oct. 2023 Fragrant cedar garlands frame the living room's stunning architecture punching up this neutral living room with traditional green of the holidays. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 2 Oct. 2023 It’s got all of my favorite bagel-and-lox flavors, with goat cheese subbing in for the cream cheese, and a lemony dressing punched up with capers and black pepper. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 And as frustrated fans continue to face store shelves missing the Huy Fong name, third-party resellers are punching up prices. Wyatte Grantham-Philips, Fortune, 14 July 2023 See More

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


1958, in the meaning defined above


circa 1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of punch-up was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near punch-up

Cite this Entry

“Punch-up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punch-up. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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