sucker punch

sucker-punch

[suhk-er-puhnch]
verb (used with object) Slang.
to strike (someone) with an unexpected blow.

sucker punch, noun
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World English Dictionary
sucker punch
 
n
1.  a sudden surprise punch, esp from behind
2.  a sudden unexpected defeat or setback

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sucker punch

An unexpected blow, as in They felt that suddenly raising the interest rate was a sucker punch to the administration. This expression comes from boxing, where it is used for a punch delivered unexpectedly; boxing great Jack Dempsey wrote, "The right lead [for a right-handed boxer] is called a sucker punch." [Slang; mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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