Definition of punnet in US English:



  • A small light basket or other container for fruit or vegetables.

    ‘a punnet of strawberries’
    • ‘I had a punnet of perfect raspberries waiting in the fridge, and I couldn't stop thinking about them.’
    • ‘There is deep satisfaction to be had in spending a couple of hours picking punnets full of ripe, juicy fruit.’
    • ‘Under these circumstances it's best to manually collect seed and grow them on in punnets and seed trays for planting out at the appropriate time.’
    • ‘They are sold in punnets as annuals but are terrific value because in this climate they can be cut back in autumn and will flower again non-stop once the weather warms up again.’
    • ‘He was hoping to sell more than 600 punnets yesterday.’
    • ‘Pansies have such a long flowering period that it's worth buying them in plug punnets, which are already quite well established.’
    • ‘Spanish strawberries are the main imports filling punnets outside Scottish harvesting time - between the beginning of June and the end of August.’
    • ‘In the middle of it stands a huge supermarket where you can buy punnets of blackberries imported from Holland.’
    • ‘Have a sneaky look at the bottom of the container as well, as there are unscrupulous fruit sellers who will happily sell you a punnet of fruit with furry bottoms.’
    • ‘In the summer, providing you get there early enough, you can buy a punnet of fresh-picked local strawberries, fat and luscious, still with the morning dew on them, almost.’
    • ‘And as Georgia, clutching a plastic punnet, tugs on her mother's sleeve and begs her to accompany her to the redcurrants, it's clear that the most enthusiastic fruit-pickers live on-site.’
    • ‘It's a good month to visit pick-your-own farms or, if you want to use your energy on cooking rather than picking, to buy raspberries by the cheap punnet.’
    • ‘Now, I can go guiltless into the supermarket and buy a shiny jar of jam or a clean, ready-to-eat punnet of any soft fruit, just sufficient for my immediate needs.’
    • ‘The system, developed at the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand, uses a punnet that traps the volatile compounds fruit emit.’
    • ‘We've also sold about 12 trays of strawberries each day, with 12 punnets on each of them.’
    • ‘I'll pour that over half a punnet of blueberries.’
    • ‘The soil has to be either specifically-designed seed-raising mix when growing them in pots or punnets, or a well-worked, light, fertile tilth when growing in garden beds.’
    • ‘For instance, It's as easy to purchase loose fruit and veg than it is to purchase boxes or punnets of fruit or veg.’
    • ‘Today, as the English strawberry season gets into full swing, the open fields have been polytunnelled and cardboard punnets have given way to plastic trays.’
    • ‘Also pot on some punnets of other summer annuals such as Petunias ready to plant out when the spring annuals come out.’
    receptacle, container, holder, vessel, box, case
    View synonyms


Early 19th century: perhaps a diminutive of dialect pun ‘a pound’.