(From the punch line of an old joke referring to American football: "Drop back 15 yards and punt!") 1. To give up, typically without any intention of retrying. "Let's punt the movie tonight." "I was going to hack all night to get this feature in, but I decided to punt" may mean that you've decided not to stay up all night, and may also mean you're not ever even going to put in the feature.
2. More specifically, to give up on figuring out what the Right Thing
is and resort to an inefficient hack.
3. A design decision to defer solving a problem, typically because one cannot define what is desirable sufficiently well to frame an algorithmic solution. "No way to know what the right form to dump the graph in is - we'll punt that for now."
4. To hand a tricky implementation problem off to some other section of the design. "It's too hard to get the compiler to do that; let's punt to the run-time system."