Definition of puncture in US English:



  • 1A small hole in a tire resulting in an escape of air.

    ‘she was on her way home when she had a puncture’
    • ‘And if these ballots have indentations, punctures, dents on them - you know, the wind didn't make them, people came to the polls and people made those marks on those ballots.’
    • ‘The happy couple were driving back into Washington and, as they hit the Beltway, one of their car tyres sustained a puncture.’
    • ‘Earlier, the duo suffered in the first and second stages with two tyre punctures, but managed to overcome the challenge until finally when they stormed past Jambo at a snail's pace with a blowing engine.’
    • ‘‘My wheelchair is constantly getting punctures because of the smashed glass,’ said Mr Everton.’
    • ‘We've had a few punctures and a tyre shred plus chickens running out at us but otherwise we're doing ok.’
    • ‘But with technical problems which cars experience such as engines blowing off, gear boxes getting damaged or tyre punctures being part of this game, anything could happen.’
    • ‘Patton, an elite category mountain bike racer, twice suffered punctures to his bike but battled on to beat many top names in the the field of more than 300 riders.’
    • ‘In days of yore, he was in demand for a whole variety of ‘small jobs’ such as fixing punctures on bikes, the main method of transport in those times.’
    • ‘Luck was on his side and somehow he escaped both a fall and a puncture.’
    • ‘Of the destroyed eggs, 39 had small circular holes punctured in the eggshell (the punctures sometimes formed short rows).’
    • ‘However, for him the problems with start soon first a puncture at his left-back tyre followed just after one lap by another one, this time at his left-right tyre.’
    • ‘First rule when dealing with a puncture is to check the tyre that the cause of the puncture is removed.’
    • ‘Even on such short trips car travel could be full of difficulties with punctures to tyres or the engine boiling going up hills.’
    • ‘The only possible worry is punctures, but the off-road scooters have special tyres which should prevent that from happening.’
    • ‘His right rear tyre then suffered a puncture after a light touch from Ralf Schumacher's front wing as the German passed him on lap five.’
    • ‘We drove on but the damage had caused a puncture and we limped out of the stage, although the crew changed the wheel and repaired the bumper in just six minutes.’
    • ‘The advantages are obvious: the airless tyre can never suffer a puncture or valve failure and ends the need to check tyre pressures.’
    • ‘It seals the puncture and the tyre can then be reinflated ready for use.’
    • ‘When garbage contains hard objects, it can contribute more directly to accidents by causing damage to vehicles, punctures or dangerous swerves.’
    • ‘But Charles found himself out of contention after sustaining a tyre puncture.’
    flat tyre
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    1. 1.1 A small hole in something such as the skin, caused by a sharp object.
      as modifier ‘a puncture wound’
      ‘surgeons operate through small punctures in the skin’
      • ‘These puncture wounds scar and deform the fruit.’
      • ‘Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings. Exercise great care with all sharps to prevent puncture wounds, cuts or abrasions.’
      • ‘Injuries can lead to tetanus if people get puncture wounds.’
      • ‘A 40-year-old man received a puncture wound to his back after he stepped in to help a 19-year-old black woman who was being harassed by a group of youths at a bus stop.’
      • ‘Allergic status was documented by puncture skin tests.’
      • ‘I looked over at the ‘vampires’ warily and then stood up, rubbing the two puncture wounds on my neck.’
      • ‘Connecting wires were fed under the skin of the forearm and out from a skin puncture and the wounds were sewn up.’
      • ‘Uncontrolled bleeding from the puncture wounds.’
      • ‘I'm sure you all remember the Belvedere College massacre over when an angry young student went on the rampage with a plank of wood with a nail in it. 8 people were treated for puncture wounds.’
      • ‘Apply a comfrey leaf ointment or compress to your cut, but do not use it on puncture wounds because the skin may heal faster than the tissue below.’
      • ‘The quality of the skin puncture sample is very technique dependent.’
      • ‘The only negative aspect, was I got stuck in one of my toes by a sea urchin spine. I have since explored the puncture wound after coming home and found nothing.’
      • ‘Clinically, progressive purpuric skin lesions and diffuse oozing from skin puncture sites are observed, often within hours of birth.’
      • ‘Wires lead from the array and appear through a skin puncture.’
      • ‘Cosgrove dropped to the floor in front of the elderly man and ripped the fabric, exposing one skinny calf that had two red puncture marks marring the skin.’
      • ‘She didn't want him doing anything to make his puncture wound worse.’
      • ‘Reading of the puncture wounds in the children's throats, he guesses that their wounds and Lucy's were made by the same thing.’
      • ‘A 57-year-old patient of mine had a puncture wound of the foot while gardening.’
      • ‘Glove failures can be caused by punctures, tears by sharp devices, or spontaneous failures.’
      • ‘Hold the finger and hand firmly to immobilize the finger as some patients's response is to pull away as you perform the skin puncture.’
      hole, perforation, prick, rupture, cut, nick, slit, leak
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[with object]
  • 1Make a puncture in (something)

    ‘one of the knife blows had punctured a lung’
    • ‘A shot was then fired, puncturing a front tyre on Mbambo's car,’ Matroos said.’
    • ‘You should protect the vital areas along the mid-line of the torso, where even a shallow wound might puncture heart, lungs, liver, kidney or bowel.’
    • ‘After the headmistress branded him a troublemaker and excluded him from the Christmas party, he punctured her car tyres with a nail and was swiftly expelled.’
    • ‘The perpetrator cut off the tyres, punctured the diesel tank and broke windows in the vehicle.’
    • ‘The dog then bit several times at the back of Carlson's legs and then made contact with the back part of Carlson's right knee, puncturing the skin.’
    • ‘They say the louts involved even left broken glass strewn on their path to puncture Rosemary's wheelchair tyres.’
    • ‘A police officer who used a knife to puncture the tyres of a car to stop it being driven by a group of drunken revellers has been convicted and warned he may face a jail sentence.’
    • ‘The second bullet slammed right into his lung, easily puncturing the tissue and crushing his windpipe against the back of his neck.’
    • ‘Well, chances are, those blows managed to puncture the brain, and they most likely died of internal bleeding, or maybe outer bleeding.’
    • ‘A 17-year-old youth was left with a fractured skull, punctured lung and a cracked rib after he was attacked in the town's Monkwick Avenue in March this year.’
    • ‘Ishrat was seated next to Javed who was driving the car when the crime branch team fired and punctured the rear left tyre.’
    • ‘Scientists have recently ruled out the possibility that the stylets of certain mites are too short to puncture cells on the front surfaces of some ferns.’
    • ‘One bullet had punctured the spare tire and flattened it as well.’
    • ‘Detectives believe the killer punctured his car tyre to make him stay behind after work.’
    • ‘In last summer's accident, debris from a shattered tyre punctured a fuel tank and led to a catastrophic fire which brought down the plane 10 miles from where it had taken off, Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.’
    • ‘She didn't seem the least bit winded, though Shannon felt as if a knife were stabbing into his lungs, trying to puncture his chest cavity so that all the air would escape and he would suffocate.’
    • ‘The single blow punctured a lung and he died in hospital a week later.’
    • ‘Thomas, who is in Ward 22 at the hospital, is recuperating from the gunshot wounds he suffered to his chest last Friday, one bullet having punctured his lung.’
    • ‘After slipping off his bike in the peloton, he had almost made up the distance, but then punctured his front tyre, and has slipped back again.’
    • ‘David Millar is forced to drop back for emergency repairs to his bike, while Jan Ullrich punctures his front tyre.’
    make a hole in, pierce, penetrate, rupture, perforate, riddle, stab, cut, nick, slit, prick, spike, stick, impale, transfix, bore, bore through, drill, drill through, lance, tap
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    1. 1.1no object Sustain a puncture.
      ‘the tire had punctured and it would have to be replaced’
      • ‘Despite suffering two punctures during his first competitive drive in eight years, Malcolm Wilson and seventeen year old son Matthew took the title by 54 seconds from three-time winner Steve Petch.’
      • ‘There we had eight punctures from the flint on the track during testing.’
      • ‘York-based rider Rob Smith was also a finisher, but clubmate Paul Brown was a non-finisher after puncturing in the early stages.’
      • ‘The rear tyre got punctured, but with the help of a couple of menial workers and a beggar, my father was able to push the car to the tyre repair garage.’
      • ‘Only then did he realise that one of his rear tyres had punctured.’
      • ‘The especially hardened leaf-tips puncturing through frozen ground make the plant a very welcome, if uninvited guest.’
      • ‘The driver lost control of his Peugeot 405 after a tyre punctured.’
      • ‘It is thought he was shot as he repaired his car tyre, which the killer had probably punctured.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, Brown's hopes of a good result were dashed when a clash of wheels with another rider brought about a puncture.’
      • ‘Hamilton's men suffered four punctures in the first 15 miles, destroying their rhythm, and for a few miles there was patent indecision among them whether to wait or continue.’
      • ‘Local rider Michael Mulcahy rode a fantastic race after puncturing and finished a creditable 10th.’
      • ‘I was convinced we'd punctured, but somehow the tyres, and the suspension, remained unaffected.’
      • ‘To cap Flanagan's misfortune, he punctured with 15 miles to go and there was an immediate charge from the front of his bunch, capitalising on his ill luck.’
      • ‘Armstrong said the Spaniard's tyre had punctured as they braked for a corner.’
      • ‘Lieutenant Barnes was forced back to base on one engine with countless holes in his ship and one tire punctured.’
      • ‘Every time, a vehicle finds its tyre punctured in the middle of the road, the vendor control room of the area transmits signals to alert other vendors within a five kilometer radius.’
      • ‘Huge coal trucks have almost run Bonds's car off the road, and two local activists had their tires punctured when they went to file paperwork for a hearing.’
      • ‘They fired several rounds from handguns and semi-automatic rifles at the vehicle, which finally came to a halt about 500 metres from the depot with all four wheels punctured.’
      • ‘With eight miles remaining, the Irish trio were holding 1: 24 ahead but then tragedy struck when Mark Lovett punctured and they lost their momentum.’
      • ‘Yet he does not want to see that attack, which consisted of the car being covered in broken eggs and the tyres punctured, as yet another example of a sectarian attack upon him.’
  • 2Cause a sudden collapse of (mood or feeling)

    ‘the earlier mood of optimism was punctured’
    • ‘A smug academic thinks he can intellectualise his way out of human problems of love and jealousy, and he is punctured.’
    • ‘Sigmund Freud's theories have been punctured and pricked with doubt, but anyone who argues that he should be dropped from the canon of Western civilization needs therapy.’
    • ‘The company has punctured this fragile mood of optimism with a miscalculation of astonishing proportions.’
    • ‘At this, Lance's ego seemed to be punctured slightly, but he kept at it.’
    • ‘Worse still is the title track - eight-and-a-half minutes of tedium and cliché interrupted by bad Riverdance impressions which really puncture the dark mood the song is trying to conjure up.’
    • ‘Its reputation of being a place of escalating communal tension has been punctured.’
    • ‘What little suspense there might have been was punctured for me by Howard disclosing most of it.’
    put an end to, cut short, reverse, prick, deflate, flatten, reduce
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Late Middle English: from Latin punctura, from punct- ‘pricked’, from the verb pungere. The verb dates from the late 17th century.