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punching bag

an inflated or stuffed bag, usually suspended, punched with the fists as an exercise.
Informal. a person serving as an object of abuse; scapegoat:
I told him that I wasn't going to be a punching bag for anyone.
Origin of punching bag
1895-1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for punching-bag
Historical Examples
  • The hail was beating against my windows, and a punching-bag was drumming the "devil's tattoo" in the next room.

    At Start and Finish William Lindsey
  • Hopkins was no man to serve as a punching-bag for a pessimistic tobacconist.

  • The punching-bag and other purely masculine paraphernalia had been banished to his own room, and the living-room, alas!

    Kildares of Storm Eleanor Mercein Kelly
  • The punching-bag Platform, illustrated by Fig. 257, should be made thirty inches square and suspended from the shed or a wall.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • I made it into a tight bundle and hung it on a springy limb to use for a punching-bag.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman
  • In the submerged tenth, a punching-bag and something handy for batting up flies.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • "I lost my home and punching-bag at it once," he said, musingly.

    Caybigan James Hopper
  • I went rummaging in my trunks, and in the bottom of one I came across a punching-bag and a set of gloves.

    The Range Dwellers B. M. Bower
Slang definitions & phrases for punching-bag

punching bag

noun phrase

A target; butt; whipping boy; scapegoat: Milken has come to be regarded as a handy punching bag for everything that went wrong in the 1980s (1980s+)

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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