pung-, punc-, punct-

(Latin: pungere, punctum to strike, to hit, to punch, to pierce, to puncture, to point, to sting, to bite; a dot, a mark; a point, a sharp point, a pinpoint)

These vocabulary roots have developed a confusing family of words which, on the surface, do not seem to be related; however, the entries in this unit really are derived from the roots and the meanings that appear in the headings of this unit.

poniard (s) (noun), poniards (pl)
1. A small dagger with a slim blade that is triangular or square in its cross section used for piercing or stabbing.
2. Etymology: from Middle French poinard; from Old French poignal, "dagger"; literally, "anything grasped with the fist", from poing, "fist", from Latin pungus, "strike, hit".
poniard (verb), poniards; poniarded; poniarding
To pierce or to stab someone with a small dagger (short knife with a pointed blade): In the news, there was a case of a man who poniarded a woman in the throat for no apparent reason while she was shopping in a grocery store.
pugilant (adjective), more pugilant, most pugilant
Pertaining to boxing or fighting.
pugilism (s) (noun), pugilisms (pl)
To be involved in the sport of fighting with the fists..
pugilist (s) (noun), pugilists (pl)
1. Someone who practices the art of boxing.
2. A boxer, a fighter; figuratively, a vigorous controversialist (a person who likes to disagree with other people and say things that make people angry or think about a subject).
pugilistic (adjective), more pugilistic, most pugilistic
pugilistical (adjective), more pugilistical, most pugilistical
In a pugilistic manner.
pugilistically (adverb), more pugilistically, most pugilistically
pugnacious (adjective), more pugnacious, most pugnacious
1. Conveying a quarrelsome or combative disposition; being belligerent: Susan was behaving in a pugnacious way when her mother asked her to do some household chores, like taking out the garbage.

Because of Tim's pugnacious attitude, he has a problem getting along with his fellow politicians and so he fails to achieve any of the objectives for which he was elected.

2. Relating to an eagerness to fight or to argue about issues instead of using calm discussions: The two sisters were quite pugnacious when they were young kids, often being unfriendly and controversial with each other.
3. Characterized by being uncontrollable and resorting to force or violence: Some pugnacious children in schools apparently don't know how to get along with each other and so they are often involved in threatening or fighting on the playgrounds.
Ready to fight or to quarrel.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Easily disposed to fight; combative .
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

pugnaciously (adverb), more pugnaciously, most pugnaciously
A reference to situations in which someone is given to fighting, is quarrelsome, or contentious.
pugnaciousness (s) (noun) (no plural)
1. Inclined to or exhibiting assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness.
2. A quarrelsome or combative nature.
pugnacity (s) (noun), pugnacities (pl)
1. The desire to start an argument or fight: Little Joey was known for his pugnacity and none of the children at his school wanted to play with him because he was always criticizing, insulting, or harassing them in some way.
2. The act of expressing a statement or opinion very forcefully: Grace expressed her pugnacity when she told her brother that he was a liar because he denied taking money from her purse even though she saw him do it.
Quarrelsome and getting into fights .
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

pun (s) (noun), puns (pl)
1. A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words; the word or phrase used in this way.
2. The humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning.
A witticism that the listener groans at because he didn't think of it first.
—Evan Esar, Esar's Comic Dictionary
A pun is the lowest form of humor—when you don't think of it first.
—Oscar Levant
punch (s) (noun), punches (pl)
punch (verb) punches; punched; punching

Cross references of word families that are related directly, or indirectly, to: "sour, sharp": acerb-; aceto-; acid-; acies- (not "sour"); acuto- (not "sour"); oxy-.