Main definitions of pun in English

: pun1pun2

pun1

Pronunciation /pən/

See synonyms for pun

Translate pun into Spanish

noun

  • A joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings.

    ‘the pigs were a squeal (if you'll forgive the pun)’
    • ‘By all reports, the mountain men love mountain women almost as much as winning rugby league games (a cheap pun based on no facts).’
    • ‘The name Cindy sounds like a near pun to cinders, which speaks again to the idea of complete destruction for the birth of some new work.’
    • ‘We can deduce whether a consonant was sounded from the way puns work.’
    • ‘The flaming comet on the cover and the name pun on the fact that Chitti's birth year is sadharana in the Hindu calendar, when Haley's comet was sighted.’
    • ‘It's a pun on the fact that Darien called the servants pigs.’
    • ‘A whole whack of puns, one-liners and double entendres get crammed into the 90-minute running time, and most of them fall flatter than a postage stamp.’
    • ‘Colonic irrigation may be the butt - excuse the pun - of many a joke, but for those who benefit from the treatment it's no laughing matter.’
    • ‘Paisley should voice his support for the men of the cloth who will bear witness any disarmament and take their word as, excuse the pun, gospel.’
    • ‘Alexander Witt who has directed this film is a competent second unit director and delivers what is expected of him - absolutely brain-dead stuff - forgive the obnoxious pun!’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the simple economics of house building mean that once a house has distinctive details, a sizeable garden and large rooms in a desirable location, the price, forgive the pun, will go through the roof.’
    • ‘Forgive the pun, but this is a spellbinding book.’
    • ‘Mrs Conti doubtless had a lively night. Competitive eating has, excuse the pun, become very big over the last two decades.’
    • ‘A healthy diet is, if you'll forgive the pun, a movable feast.’
    • ‘We are always grateful to those who take the minute or two to keep us, and their public, in the picture - forgive the pun.’
    • ‘And yet, by his own admission, he had no drive - excuse the pun - nor desire to get into selling cars.’
    • ‘Our mechanical friend ain't doing too hot - forgive the pun - either.’
    • ‘Stuart Wenham how about you give us a bit of a sense of how your work in photovoltaic research has plugged into the Olympic Games, excuse the pun?’
    • ‘You'll forgive the pun, but, Rocco, isn't this just a bit Mickey Mouse for you?’
    • ‘Pornography seems to be a like, excuse the pun, a grind.’
    • ‘Using the curse of the werewolf as a metaphor for puberty, it's a sharp and, forgive the pun, biting take on adolescence.’
    play on words, wordplay, double entendre, double meaning, innuendo, witticism, quip
    View synonyms

intransitive verbpuns, punning, punned

[no object]
  • Make a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word.

    ‘his first puzzle punned on composers, with answers like “Handel with care” and “Haydn go seek”’
    • ‘There's some sort of joke / pun to be made here using the phrase ‘I'd give my eye teeth ’, but I can't figure out what it is.’
    • ‘There are some truly stupid sequel titles out there, which are either puns on the word ‘two’ or add some extra element to the original that lets you know it's a sequel.’
    • ‘Gas from a Burner is a poem which puns on the word gas.’
    • ‘Of course, any respectably Derridean response to that would then pun on the word ‘re-mark’ and launch into a discussion of film, testimony, and writing.’
    • ‘When he puns on the word ‘swallow ‘in his Lewinsky song, they rock with laughter.’’
    • ‘Some of Mullen's pieces reflect the universal forms of riddles and punning found at the origins of all literatures.’
    • ‘The Sages of the Talmud put it pithily, punning on the Hebrew word for ‘etched,’ used in reference to the words carved on the Tablets of the Law.’’
    • ‘Lay brother Julian (the word lay is punned on ad nauseam) is seduced by Miss Alice in grotesque fashion.’
    • ‘He could also be relied on to make punning use of the word ‘horn’ in his show titles.’
    • ‘Act 3, Scene 1, line 5 The clown puns expertly, then says that words are so easy to manipulate, so easy to use for bad purposes, that he is afraid to use them.’
    • ‘There's plenty more punning jokes like that, spouting from the crooked mouth of Harrogate Theatre's dimple-cheeky silly billy, Tim Stedman.’
    • ‘Howard puns shamelessly on ‘member’ and ‘knocked off’ to suggest the sham and bravura behind protocols of cultural authority.’
    • ‘What is one to do with the oh-so-clever title of the book, which puns on ‘regarding’ as both a visual and cognitive facility?’
    • ‘The word ‘sine’ can be punned with the word ‘sign’, or loosely, ‘symbol’.’
    • ‘While the work puns on Minimalist sculpture by Carl Andre, it also serves as an emblem of cleanliness in the age of AIDS.’
    • ‘Cecilia's surname Dela-mere puns ingeniously: over the sea, but also over the mere or lake.’
    • ‘He puns on its image to connote a flower, by delineating its rays in the shape of petals.’
    • ‘Is it possible that in 1687-8 his informant was punning with Joutel?’
    • ‘For a while, the evangelical cohort remained fair game: we could pun on Pentecostals, have fun with fundamentalists and chuckle over conservatives.’
    • ‘I'm so bitter and bitchy, I can't even be bothered to pun on that last sentence.’

Origin

Mid 17th century perhaps an abbreviation of obsolete pundigrion, as a fanciful alteration of punctilio.

Main definitions of pun in English

: pun1pun2

pun2

Pronunciation /pən/

See synonyms for pun

Translate pun into Spanish

transitive verbpuns, punning, punned

[with object]British
  • Consolidate (earth or rubble) by pounding it.

Origin

Mid 16th century dialect variant of pound.