punching bag

punch·​ing bag | \ ˈpən-chiŋ- How to pronounce punching bag (audio) \

Definition of punching bag

1 : a stuffed or inflated bag usually suspended for free movement and punched for exercise or for training in boxing
2 : one who is routinely abused or defeated by another

Examples of punching bag in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Biden as punching bag O'Rourke, the former El Paso congressman, lucked out when his name was drawn for Wednesday’s debate. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "20 for 2020: Dual Democratic debates in Miami could be defining or disastrous for presidential hopefuls," 24 June 2019 Warren was the only one to eclipse the century mark in a game, and that came against Mountain West punching bag San Jose State. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Transfer could solve RB woes for Texas," 8 May 2018 The Democrats’ House campaign arm, which had become a punching bag for conservatives and liberal insurgents alike, had one job Tuesday: avoid a lockout in California. David Weigel, Washington Post, "Slow waves, high turnout and no lockouts: Four lessons from this week’s primaries," 7 June 2018 Now dozens of them — along with Ali quotations, fight posters, ticket stubs, magazine covers — adorn the walls of the spacious gym, with its regulation ring and punching bag. Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com, "Muhammad Ali's secluded Pa. camp and the fight to save it, led by John Madden's son," 3 July 2018 No one should have thought the Raptors morphed from Cavaliers postseason punching bag to the young Mike Tyson this season. Bud Shaw, cleveland.com, "The Cavs scored a good win over Toronto, not a knockout punch -- Bud Shaw," 22 Mar. 2018 The Kansas City Royals, a longtime Yankees punching bag, played in two. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Sorry, Baseball: The Evil Empire Is Back," 28 June 2018 The power company had long been the public’s favorite punching bag, notorious for its high rates, sputtering from one crisis to the next. New York Times, "How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa," 26 June 2018 Best of all, working out with a punching bag relieved stress in ways that my yoga classes don’t. Bethany Ao, Philly.com, "I boxed one of Philly's most famous chefs and it relieved more stress than yoga," 14 May 2018

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

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for punching bag

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for punching bag

The first known use of punching bag was in 1886

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More Definitions for punching bag

punching bag


English Language Learners Definition of punching bag

US : a very heavy bag that usually hangs from the ceiling and that is punched for exercise or training

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with punching bag

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