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[puhn-chee] /ˈpʌn tʃi/
adjective, punchier, punchiest. Informal.
being or appearing vigorously effective; forceful.
Origin of punchy
1935-40; punch1 + -y1
Related forms
punchiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for punchy
  • The film does contain several punchy songs that would sound better in any other context than they do here.
  • She had an agile, teasing sense of humor that included a sure grasp of the absurd and an instinct for punchy ripostes.
  • At once punchy and dreamlike, this is a hugely attractive show.
  • Stories that can be boiled down to a single, punchy headline are exactly the sort that succeed by these measures.
  • So there is also powerful punchy morality at work here.
  • Unfortunately, his style calcified into tricky panoplies of stock modernistic forms, more suited to punchy graphic art.
  • At both shows, fans sang along to his poetically succinct lyrics, which he delivers in a punchy and sincere style.
  • Gilroy's dialogue is punchy even when it's more about atmosphere than forward motion.
  • Use punchy, tightly written copy-as few words as possible, both in the headline and in supporting copy.
  • Each one has a personality or a temperament and the traits that are coming through are naughty, sweet, tender and punchy.
British Dictionary definitions for punchy


adjective punchier, punchiest
an informal word for punch-drunk
(informal) incisive or forceful: a punchy article
Derived Forms
punchily, adverb
punchiness, noun
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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Word Origin and History for punchy

"nervously anxious; irritable from fatigue," 1937, from punch (v.) + -y (2). Perhaps originally a shortening of punch-drunk. Related: Punchily; punchiness.

"full of vigor," 1926, from punch (n.3) + -y (2). Related: Punchily; punchiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for punchy


  1. Exhibiting brain damage from repeated blows to the head; punch-drunk: Sailor Bob, a punchy stumble-bum (1937+)
  2. Feeling somewhat confused and battered, as if punch-drunk: Even if she's a little punchy and hyper from doing a dozen interviews that day (1940s+)
  3. Having force, impact, energy, etc; potent; jazzy, zingy: The English language may someday be as colorful and punchy as it was in Elizabethan times (1926+)

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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