punchier; punchiest
: having punch : forceful, spirited
The collection is strong on punchy, memorable music and weak on lyrics.People Weekly
He leans abruptly forward and speaks with the punchy emphasis of an inveterate politician.Bill Bryson
: vivid, vibrant
These punchy colors glide on and blend easily into mere hints of color.Elle
: zesty
It is an elegant dish, although the sauce seems overly polite now. I remember it when the fresh coriander was an intense and punchy flavor.Caroline Bates
: dazed, punch-drunk
… I arrived in Paris after a thirteen-hour flight, unwashed, unshaved, punchy from jet lag, discombobulated …David Berlinski

Examples of punchy in a Sentence

shrimp in a punchy sauce She was punchy with fatigue.
Recent Examples on the Web Luckily, the strips are engaging as hell: frenetic yet fluid, complicated without being overly complex, punchy and relatively easy to follow while also rewarding multiple close reads. Gyasi Hall, Longreads, 12 Sep. 2023 Advertisement Another sauce that highlights the sweet but sometimes punchy flavor of peppers is this Druze-style Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Ben Mims, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2023 His ability to mix adventurous combinations of color, pattern, and texture is showcased in his joyful table settings, layered interiors, and punchy wallpaper and textile collection at Wallshoppe. Lauren Bengtson, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Aug. 2023 Order that blasphemous crudo along with the punchy salad of sweet seasonal cucumbers, trout roe, and delicate flakes of whey granita, dressed in a bracingly green-tasting tarragon oil. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 The bold colors selected for the range were perhaps the most exciting part of the collection: a workwear essential black, an olive green, a punchy orange, deep brown, and a sleek teal. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 11 Sep. 2023 Many of these recipes use chicken breast (the blank-canvas cut, IMO) and slather it with nutty marinades, bright citrus, aromatic broths, herby pestos, or punchy dressings—because the protein can stand up to pretty much any flavor combo. Samantha MacAvoy, Women's Health, 9 Sep. 2023 The Juvia's Place Warrior III Palette is a glorious compact packed with punchy colors that are perfect for the bold makeup maven. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 21 Aug. 2023 On top of that, their color-blocking exteriors appeal to those who are fans of wearing punchy pops of color when working out. Isis Briones, Travel + Leisure, 3 Sep. 2023 See More

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

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of punchy was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near punchy

Cite this Entry

“Punchy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punchy. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!