\ ˈpən-chē \
punchier; punchiest

Definition of punchy

1a : 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
b : vivid, vibrant These punchy colors glide on and blend easily into mere hints of color.Elle
c : 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
2 : dazed, punch-drunk … I arrived in Paris after a thirteen-hour flight, unwashed, unshaved, punchy from jet lag, discombobulated …— David Berlinski

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of punchy in a Sentence

shrimp in a punchy sauce She was punchy with fatigue.

Recent Examples on the Web

The ads are all Melodrama purple eyeshadow, red lips, and visible armpit hair, cool gal pals with punchy makeup and an accessible aesthetic. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The absurd quest to make the “best” razor," 11 Dec. 2018 Trading at a punchy 22 times expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters, the Sensex looks ripe for a pullback. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "Indian Markets Look Headed for Further Extremes," 17 Aug. 2018 In punchy shades of green, blue and yellow, these were pieces made for kids, but with age-appropriate style. Kristin Larson, chicagotribune.com, "Our favorite looks from the SAIC fashion show," 23 May 2018 That punchy orange turns into a soothing warm glow, that, combined with the Suzy Snooze's sleep sounds, is scientifically proven to encourage sleep hormone production. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Adorable Gadget Will Help Your Baby Sleep Better," 7 Nov. 2018 The audio quality is crisp in the mids, has punchy bass at medium to high volumes, and is clear at the highs. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Master & Dynamic MW07 earbuds review: truly wireless, truly expensive," 18 Sep. 2018 And always one to celebrate her sacred heritage, as well as play up an above-the-neck color story, Chopra punctuated her customary sindoor and intricate mehndi with complementary punchy hues on the eyes, cheeks, and most strikingly, the lips. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Plays Up Her Post-Wedding Glow—and Bridal Henna—With This Makeup Trick," 5 Dec. 2018 Hay—the Danish manufacturer of modern furniture, punchy housewares, and vibrant textiles from a roster of contemporary design’s most exciting practitioners—will open its first retail store in the United States in Portland, Oregon, November 15. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Is America ready for Denmark’s coolest design brand?," 1 Nov. 2018 The new Tiguan, which is nearly a foot longer than the old one, comes with a punchy 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 184 hp hitched to an 8-speed automatic. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "Cargo Showdown: Which Crossover SUV Is Best for Hauling Your Stuff?," 4 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punchy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of punchy

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about punchy

Dictionary Entries near punchy

punch up







Statistics for punchy

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for punchy

The first known use of punchy was in 1907

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for punchy



English Language Learners Definition of punchy

: very exciting or lively

More from Merriam-Webster on punchy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with punchy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for punchy

Comments on punchy

What made you want to look up punchy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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