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 (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
Characterized by boxing or fighting and used mostly figuratively: Steven seemed to be in a pugilant mood, being belligerent and very aggressive.
pugilism (s) (noun), pugilisms (pl)
Involvement in the sport of fighting with the fists: Arthur's father was active in the profession of pugilism, but Arthur certainly didn't like this sport at all because it was so aggressive and caused injuries.
pugilist (s) (noun), pugilists (pl)
1. Someone who practices the art of boxing: Lance was a professional fighter, or a pugilist, and studied his opponent carefully first before the first round started.
2. A boxer, a fighter, used in a figurative sense: A pugilist can be a vigorous controversialist, or a person who likes to disagree with other people and say things that make them angry.
pugilistic (adjective), more pugilistic, most pugilistic
Descriptive of one who fights with his or her fists: The new kid in school was found to be quite pugilistic and who was always getting into fist fights with hie peers.
pugilistical (adjective), more pugilistical, most pugilistical
Descriptive of a person who loves to box or fight; pugilistic: Nigel seemed to be a pugilistical kind of person who loved to get into vigorous debates and become quite hostile and offensive, and intending to make his opponents very angry.
pugilistically (adverb), more pugilistically, most pugilistically
Concerning how someone behaves in an aggressive way: Norman shouted at his sister very pugilistically and in a extreme hostile manner, and, after scolding him, his mother sent him straight to his room for the rest of the day.
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. Characterizing a person who is uncontrollable and who resorts 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 others 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 how situations escalate in which someone is given to fighting, is quarrelsome, or contentious: Tim was so upset because his wife had just left him and he reacted pugnaciously when a friend, who didn't realize that she was gone, asked him how his wife was doing.
pugnaciousness (s) (noun) (no pl)
Assertiveness, hostility, or combativeness: Mary's son, Tom, was so quarrelsome and belligerent at home that she decided to go to a specialist to ask for advice about the pugnaciousness of her son.
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 had seen 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)
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: A pun is 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.

"The pigs were a squeal" is a great pun!

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)
1. A hit or thump with a fist: The friendly punch that Adam gave his friend was enough to topple him over!
2. A device for cutting holes in paper: Nancy used a punch to make a hole in the small name card so that the ribbon could go through it and be attached to the present.
3. A forcefulness or effectiveness of something: The storm had a real punch to it and many roofs flew off the barns next to the houses in the village.
4. A drink made of wine, sugar, fruit, and spices: Mandy made a great punch with strawberries for the guests who came to her party.
punch (verb) punches; punched; punching
1. To strike or hit with one's fist: In the argument between the two big boys, Sam punched Henry so hard that Henry had to go to hospital.
2. To press a button, key, bar, etc.: When Alice was in the elevator, she punched the number 3 because she wanted to get out on the 3rd floor.
3. To make holes in something: Little Gretel wanted to punch out a lot of simple figures in the piece of paper she had.

Sandy's cinema ticket was punched before entering the cinema auditorium and finding her seat.
4. To herd or to drive: From the house, Rose could see her husband who was punching the cattle into the field beyond.

puncheon (s) (noun), puncheons (pl)
1. A split log with one side smoothened: Jack and Jill found a great puncheon which they wanted finished and made into a table for their living room!
2. A barrel which can hold from 72 to 120 gallons: The wine was stored in puncheons, or casks, at the winery.
3. A device for stamping: The puncheon that the Lawsons had was used for embossing their name on the first page of their books.

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