One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1British A stuffed or inflated ball suspended or mounted on a stand, used for punching as exercise or training, especially by boxers.
- ‘Despite the lack of a swimming pool on board the ship to Canada, King kept fit by using a boxer's punchball - the method Allan Wells pioneered for track sprinters over 40 years later.’
- ‘He is a past master of the photo-opportunity who, as a Scottish Office minister, wowed inmates at Saughton Prison with his boxing skills by laying into a punchball.’
2US mass noun A team ball game in which a rubber ball is punched or headed.
- ‘Punchball is a sport similar to baseball but without a pitcher, catcher, or bat.’
- ‘I come from the part of Brooklyn, N.Y., where girls played punchball or handball, unless they were fortunate enough to have someone pay for their tennis lessons.’
- ‘Punchball should be declared an Olympic event.’
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