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punch line

the climactic phrase or sentence in a joke, speech, advertisement, or humorous story that produces the desired effect.
Origin of punch line
1920-25, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for punch-line
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He began to hold back slyly, like a comedian building up the tension before a punch-line.

    The Fourth R George Oliver Smith
British Dictionary definitions for punch-line

punch line

the culminating part of a joke, funny story, etc, that gives it its humorous or dramatic point
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for punch-line

punch line

noun phrase

The last line or part of a joke, which makes it funny; kicker, zinger: I remember the jokes, but not the punch lines (1921+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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