tv. to pull back during a boxing punch just before the full force of a blow is felt; to land lighter blows than normal upon an opponent. (Boxing and related sports.) : The boxer started pulling his punches, and the ref ended the fight.
tv. to hold back in one's criticism; to attenuate the intensity of one's remarks. (Also with any in the negative.) : I won't pull my punches with you. This is lousy.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition. Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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