There are 2 main definitions of pun in English:


Line breaks: pun
Pronunciation: /pʌn


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 Railway Society reception was an informal party of people of all stations (excuse the pun) in life
More example sentences
  • 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.
play on words, wordplay, double entendre, double meaning, innuendo, witticism, quip;
Frenchbon mot, jeu de mots
rare paronomasia, equivoque, amphibology, pivot, calembour, carriwitchet, clench, clinch, conundrum, nick, pundigrion, whim, quibble

verb (puns, punning, punned)

[no object] (often as adjective punning) Back to top  
Make a pun: Freeth adopted the nickname Free in punning allusion to his beliefs the designer is punning on the street name
More example sentences
  • First, it isn't Hobbes's view that the relation between states is characterised as involving a ‘clubbable’ social life, unless we're punning on ‘club’.
  • In his great novel Ulysses, James Joyce, punning on the old line ‘An Englishman's home is his castle’ reflects that ‘The Irishman's house is his coffin’.
  • Any theatre which presents a drama about poker lays itself open to critics punning madly about it ‘taking a gamble’ or ‘playing for high stakes’.


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



More example sentences
  • Who else would write, let alone attempt to sing, a line such as ‘I hate verisimilitude’, or punningly entitle a song ‘Neil Jung’?
  • Actually it's punningly called Steps To The Stars because the show is presented to two members of teen sensation, Steps.
  • And Gertrude retaliates in kind when she punningly and pithily retorts: ‘We shall as soon get a fart from a dead man as a farthing of courtesy here.’


More example sentences
  • But Norris also will be remembered as the ultimate pin punster and prankster.
  • For that, and for the delight of his surname which pleases headline writers and punsters everywhere, it is wonderful that Jim Butter - Fingers to his pals - will be with us for at least another season.
  • Larry, I just hope that all the punsters and pollsters and pundits are wrong, and it's not close.

Definition of pun in: