Definition of paunch in US English:



  • 1A large or protruding abdomen or stomach.

    • ‘The story dies otherwise as you can't blame a person for not giving up their seat to a woman with a slight paunch.’
    • ‘He works out frequently, totes no middle-aged paunch and looks ready to carry on with another 20 years of activity.’
    • ‘A paunch could be an obscene thing to many, but never mind that a number of policemen have it in the city.’
    • ‘Some wear shirts that stretch over round paunches.’
    • ‘They flow over paunches and make no definite statements about waists.’
    • ‘Francisco moved to the desk, adjusting the towel around the paunch of his waist before bending over the bottom drawer.’
    • ‘He had a slight paunch at his waistline but it was solid.’
    • ‘We have been long used to calling obese persons ‘healthy’ and looking at a paunch as the sign of prosperity.’
    • ‘In India a slight paunch is seen as a sign of prosperity?’
    • ‘His appearance was quite ordinary, ordinary height, ordinary brown hair and eyes and the barest beginnings of a paunch around his middle.’
    • ‘For a man who's all about speed and endurance, he is distinctly non-streamlined, with a moon-shaped face and a pronounced paunch set over thick, powerful legs.’
    • ‘Over the top of this loincloth spilled his sizeable paunch.’
    • ‘But it isn't just a pretty bike marketed to aging riders with chubby wallets and matching paunches.’
    • ‘The Maoris on stage boast a range of physiques from sumo paunches to gym-fed beefcake.’
    • ‘He is more interested in getting drunk, making out and filling his growing paunch.’
    • ‘But since starting work I've started developing a bit of a paunch… so I'm voluntarily playing sport again.’
    • ‘Within a month, you are guaranteed a paunch, a pot belly, and the inability to walk up stairs.’
    • ‘This is rich coming from a bald old guy with a bushy beard and a paunch like a kangaroo.’
    • ‘It's not clever or funny, except if you have a paunch.’
    • ‘Hank got up with a groan and, feeling every one of his 46 years, he shrugged his suspenders back over his middle-age paunch.’
    pot belly, fat abdomen, fat belly, fat stomach, protruding abdomen, protruding belly, protruding stomach, beer belly, stomach, belly, middle, midriff, waist, waistline
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  • 2Nautical
    archaic A thick strong mat used to give protection from chafing on a mast or spar.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pa(u)nche, based on Latin pantex, pantic-, usually in the plural in the sense ‘intestines’.