pack a punch

Idioms & Phrases

pack a punch

Also, pack a wallop.

  1. Be capable of a forceful blow; also, deliver a forceful blow. For example, Knowing Bob could pack a wicked punch, they were careful not to anger him, or She swung her handbag, really packing a wallop. [Colloquial; c. 1920]

  2. Have a powerful effect, as in That vodka martini packed a wallop. Thomas Wolfe had this figurative usage in a letter (c. 1938): "I think my play, The House, will pack a punch."

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