punchy (adj.2) Look up punchy at Dictionary.com
"full of vigor," 1926, from punch (n.3) + -y (2). Related: Punchily; punchiness.
punctate (adj.) Look up punctate at Dictionary.com
"dotted, marked with dots," 1760, from Modern Latin punctuatus, from Latin punctum "point" (see point). Related: Punctation.
punctilio (n.) Look up punctilio at Dictionary.com
1590s, "point," also "detail of action," from Italian puntiglio or Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto "point" (see point (n.)).
punctilious (adj.) Look up punctilious at Dictionary.com
1630s, probably from Italian puntiglioso, from puntiglio "fine point," from Latin punctum "prick" (see point (n.)). Related: Punctiliously; punctiliousness.
punctual (adj.) Look up punctual at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from Medieval Latin punctualis, from Latin punctus "a pricking" (see point (n.)). Originally "having a sharp point; of the nature of a point;" meaning "prompt" first recorded 1670s, from notion of "insisting on fine points." Related: Punctually.
punctuality (n.) Look up punctuality at Dictionary.com
"exactness," 1610s; see punctual + -ity. Meaning "promptness" is from 1777.
punctuate (v.) Look up punctuate at Dictionary.com
1630s, "to point out," from Medieval Latin punctuatus, past participle of punctuare, from Latin punctus (see point (n.)). Meaning in reference to text, "to have pauses or stops indicated," is from 1818, probably a back-formation from punctuation. Hence, "interrupted at intervals" (1833). Related: Punctuated; punctuating.
punctuation (n.) Look up punctuation at Dictionary.com
1530s, "pointing of the psalms," from Medieval Latin punctuationem (nominative punctuatio) "a marking with points," noun of action from past participle stem of punctuare "to mark with points or dots," from Latin punctus "a prick" (see point (n.)). Meaning "system of inserting pauses in written matter" is recorded from 1660s.
[P]unctuation is cold notation; it is not frustrated speech; it is typographic code. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style," 2004]
puncture (n.) Look up puncture at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Late Latin punctura "a pricking," from Latin punctus, past participle of pungere "to prick, pierce" (see pungent).
puncture (v.) Look up puncture at Dictionary.com
1690s, from puncture (n.). Related: Punctured; puncturing.
pundit (n.) Look up pundit at Dictionary.com
1670s, "learned Hindu," especially one versed in Sanskrit lore, from Hindi payndit "a learned man, master, teacher," from Sanskrit payndita-s "a learned man, scholar," of uncertain origin. Broader application in English is first recorded 1816. Related: Punditry.
pungency (n.) Look up pungency at Dictionary.com
1640s, from pungent + -cy.
pungent (adj.) Look up pungent at Dictionary.com
1590s, "sharp, poignant" (of pain or grief), from Latin pungentem (nominative pungens), present participle of pungere "to prick, pierce, sting," figuratively, "to vex, grieve, trouble, afflict," related to pugnus "fist" (see pugnacious). Meaning "having powerful odor or taste" first recorded 1660s. Literal sense "sharp, pointed" (c.1600) is very rare in English, mostly limited to botany. Middle English and early Modern English also had a now-obsolete verb punge "to prick, pierce; to smart, cause to sting," from Latin pungere. Related: Pungently.
Punic (adj.) Look up Punic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to Carthage," 1530s, from Latin Punicus, earlier Poenicus "Carthaginian," originally "Phoenician" (adj.), Carthage having been founded as a Phoenician colony, from Poenus (n.), from Greek Phoinix "Phoenician" (see Phoenician). Carthaginians were proverbial among the Romans as treacherous and perfidious. Punic Wars were three wars between the Romans and the Carthaginians fought 264-146 B.C.E. Related: Punical (early 15c.).
punish (v.) Look up punish at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old French puniss-, extended present participle stem of punir "to punish," from Latin punire "punish, correct, chastise; take vengeance for; inflict a penalty on, cause pain for some offense," earlier poenire, from poena "penalty, punishment" (see penal). Colloquial meaning "to inflict heavy damage or loss" is first recorded 1801, originally in boxing. Related: Punished; punishing.
punishable (adj.) Look up punishable at Dictionary.com
1530s, of persons; 1540s, of offenses, from punish + -able.
punisher (n.) Look up punisher at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., agent noun from punish (v.).
punishing (adj.) Look up punishing at Dictionary.com
"hard-hitting," 1811, present participle adjective from punish (v.). Related: Punishingly.
punishment (n.) Look up punishment at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French punisement (late 13c.), Old French punissement, from punir (see punish). Meaning "rough handling" is from 1811.
punitive (adj.) Look up punitive at Dictionary.com
1620s, "inflicting or involving punishment," from French punitif (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin punitivus, from Latin punitus, past participle of punire "to punish, correct, chastise" (see punish).
Punjab Look up Punjab at Dictionary.com
region on the Indian subcontinent, from Hindi Panjab, from Persian panj "five" (from PIE *penkwo-; see five) + ab "water," from Iranian *ap-, from PIE *ap- (2) "water" (see water (n.1)). So called for its five rivers. Related: Punjabi.
punji (n.) Look up punji at Dictionary.com
sharpened and often poisoned bamboo stake set in a hole as a trap for animals or enemies, 1872, of unknown origin, probably from a Tibeto-Burman language (first recorded in a Bengal context).
punk (adj.) Look up punk at Dictionary.com
"inferior, bad," 1896, also as a noun, "something worthless," earlier "rotten wood used as tinder" (1680s), "A word in common use in New England, as well as in the other Northern States and Canada" [Bartlett]; perhaps from Delaware (Algonquian) ponk, literally "dust, powder, ashes;" but Gaelic spong "tinder" also has been suggested (compare spunk "touchwood, tinder," 1580s).
punk (n.2) Look up punk at Dictionary.com
"worthless person" (especially a young hoodlum), 1917, probably from punk kid "criminal's apprentice," underworld slang first attested 1904 (with overtones of "catamite"). Ultimately from punk (n.1) or else from punk "prostitute, harlot, strumpet," first recorded 1590s, of unknown origin.

For sense shift from "harlot" to "homosexual," compare gay. By 1923 used generally for "young boy, inexperienced person" (originally in show business, as in punk day, circus slang from 1930, "day when children are admitted free"). The verb meaning "to back out of" is from 1920.

The "young criminal" sense is no doubt the inspiration in punk rock first attested 1971 (in a Dave Marsh article in "Creem," referring to Rudi "Question Mark" Martinez); popularized 1976.
If you looked different, people tried to intimidate you all the time. It was the same kind of crap you had to put up with as a hippie, when people started growing long hair. Only now it was the guys with the long hair yelling at you. You think they would have learned something. I had this extreme parrot red hair and I got hassled so much I carried a sign that said "FUCK YOU ASSHOLE." I got so tired of yelling it, I would just hold up the sign. [Bobby Startup, Philadelphia punk DJ, "Philadelphia Weekly," Oct. 10, 2001]
punk (n.1) Look up punk at Dictionary.com
"Chinese incense," 1870, from punk (adj.).
punky (adj.) Look up punky at Dictionary.com
1872, of wood, from punk (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Punkiness.
punnet (n.) Look up punnet at Dictionary.com
"small, round chip basket," 1822, chiefly British, of obscure origin.
punster (n.) Look up punster at Dictionary.com
c.1700, "a low wit who endeavours at reputation by double meaning" [Johnson], from pun + -ster.
punt (n.1) Look up punt at Dictionary.com
"kick," 1845; see punt (v.).
punt (n.2) Look up punt at Dictionary.com
"flat-bottomed river boat," late Old English punt, perhaps an ancient survival of British Latin ponto "flat-bottomed boat" (see OED), a kind of Gallic transport (Caesar), also "floating bridge" (Gellius), from Latin pontem (nominative pons) "bridge" (see pontoon). Or from or influenced by Old French cognate pont "large, flat boat."
punt (v.) Look up punt at Dictionary.com
"to kick a ball dropped from the hands before it hits the ground," 1845, first in a Rugby list of football rules, perhaps from dialectal punt "to push, strike," alteration of Midlands dialect bunt "to push, butt with the head," of unknown origin, perhaps echoic. Student slang meaning "give up, drop a course so as not to fail," 1970s, is because a U.S. football team punts when it cannot advance the ball. Related: Punted; punting.
punter (n.) Look up punter at Dictionary.com
1888 in football, agent noun from punt (v.).
punty (n.) Look up punty at Dictionary.com
"iron rod used in manipulating hot glass," 1660s, from French pontil, a diminutive form from Latin punctum "a point" (see point (n.)).
puny (adj.) Look up puny at Dictionary.com
1570s, "inferior in rank" (1540s as a noun, "junior pupil, freshman"), from Middle French puisné (Modern French puîné), from Old French puisne "born later, younger, youngest" (12c., contrasted with aisné "first-born"), from puis nez, from puis "afterward" (from Vulgar Latin *postius, from Latin postea "after this, hereafter," from post "after," see post-, + ea "there") + Old French "born," from Latin natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci; see genus). Sense of "small, weak, insignificant" first recorded 1590s. Compare puisne. Related: Puniness.
pup (n.) Look up pup at Dictionary.com
"young dog," 1760, shortened form of puppy (q.v.). Used from 1580s for "conceited person." Applied to the young of the fur seal from 1815. Used for "inexperienced person" by 1890. Pup tent (also dog tent) is from 1863. Sopwith pup, popular name of the Sopwith Scout Tractor airplane, is from 1917.
pupa (n.) Look up pupa at Dictionary.com
"post-larval stage of an insect," 1773, special use by Linnæus (1758) of Latin pupa "girl, doll, puppet" (see pupil (n.1)) on notion of "undeveloped creature." Related: Pupal; pupiform.
pupate (v.) Look up pupate at Dictionary.com
1864, from pupa + -ate (2). Related: Pupated; pupating.
pupation (n.) Look up pupation at Dictionary.com
1837, noun of action from pupate (v.).
pupil (n.1) Look up pupil at Dictionary.com
"student," late 14c., originally "orphan child, ward," from Old French pupille (14c.) and directly from Latin pupillus (fem. pupilla) "orphan child, ward, minor," diminutive of pupus "boy" (fem. pupa "girl"), probably related to puer "child," possibly from PIE *pup-, from root *pu- "to swell, inflate." Meaning "disciple, student" first recorded 1560s. Related: Pupillary.
pupil (n.2) Look up pupil at Dictionary.com
"center of the eye," early 15c. (in English in Latin form from late 14c.), from Old French pupille (14c.), from Latin pupilla, originally "little girl-doll," diminutive of pupa "girl; doll" (see pupil (n.1)), so called from the tiny image one sees of himself reflected in the eye of another. Greek used the same word, kore (literally "girl"), to mean both "doll" and "pupil of the eye;" and compare obsolete baby "small image of oneself in another's pupil" (1590s), source of 17c. colloquial expression to look babies "stare lovingly into another's eyes."
Self-knowledge can be obtained only by looking into the mind and virtue of the soul, which is the diviner part of a man, as we see our own image in another's eye. [Plato, "Alcibiades," I.133]
puppet (n.) Look up puppet at Dictionary.com
"doll moved by strings or wires" (later applied to puppets in glove form), 1530s, later form of Middle English popet "doll" (c.1300; see poppet), from Old French popette "little doll, puppet," diminutive of popee "doll, puppet" (13c., Modern French poupée), from Vulgar Latin *puppa, from Latin pupa "girl; doll" (see pupil (n.1)).

Metaphoric extension to "one whose actions are manipulated by another" first recorded 1540s (as poppet). Puppet show attested from 1650s, earlier puppet-play (1550s). Puppet government is attested from 1884 (in reference to Egypt).
puppeteer (n.) Look up puppeteer at Dictionary.com
1917, from puppet + -eer.
puppetry (n.) Look up puppetry at Dictionary.com
1520s; see puppet (n.) + -ry.
puppify (v.) Look up puppify at Dictionary.com
"make a puppy of, befool" [OED], 1640s, from puppy (n.) + -fy. Related: Puppified.
puppy (n.) Look up puppy at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "woman's small pet dog," of uncertain origin but likely from Middle French poupée "doll, toy" (see puppet). Meaning shifted from "toy dog" to "young dog" (1590s), replacing Middle English whelp. In early use in English puppet and puppy were not always distinct from each other. Also used about that time in sense of "vain young man." Puppy-dog first attested 1590s (in Shakespeare, puppi-dogges). Puppy love is from 1823. Puppy fat is from 1937.
puppyish (adj.) Look up puppyish at Dictionary.com
1775, from puppy + -ish.
pur- Look up pur- at Dictionary.com
Middle English and Anglo-French perfective prefix, corresponding to Old French por-, pur- (Modern French pour), from Vulgar Latin *por-, variation of Latin pro- "before, for" (see pro-). This is the earliest form of the prefix in English, and it is retained in some words, but in many others it has reverted to Latinate pro-.
Purana Look up Purana at Dictionary.com
ancient Sanskrit writings of a legendary character, 1690s, from Sanskrit puranah, literally "ancient, former," from pura "formerly, before," cognate with Greek paros "before," pro "before," Avestan paro "before," Old English fore, from PIE *pre-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per). Related: Puranic.
purblind (adj.) Look up purblind at Dictionary.com
c.1300, pur blind "entirely blind," as a noun, "a blind person," later "partially blind, blind in one eye" (late 14c.), the main modern sense, from blind (adj.). The first element is sometimes explained as pure (adj.), or as the Anglo-French perfective prefix pur- (see pur-). Sense of "dull" first recorded 1530s.
purchase (v.) Look up purchase at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "acquire, obtain; get, receive; procure, provide," also "accomplish or bring about; instigate; cause, contrive, plot; recruit, hire," from Anglo-French purchaser "go after," Old French porchacier "search for, procure; purchase; aim at, strive for, pursue eagerly" (11c., Modern French pourchasser), from pur- "forth" (possibly used here as an intensive prefix; see pur-) + Old French chacier "run after, to hunt, chase" (see chase (v.)).

Originally to obtain or receive as due in any way, including through merit or suffering; specific sense of "acquire for money, pay money for, buy" is from mid-14c., though the word continued to be used for "to get by conquest in war, obtain as booty" up to 17c. Related: Purchased; purchasing.