pull one's punches

pull one's punches
1. [for a boxer] to strike with light blows to enable the other boxer to win. •

Bill has been barred from the boxing ring for pulling his punches.

“I never pulled punches in my life!” cried Tom.

2. Fig. to hold back in one's criticism. (Usually in the negative. The

one's

can be replaced with

any

in the negative.) •

I didn't pull any punches. I told her exactly what I thought of her.

The teacher doesn't pull any punches when it comes to discipline.

* * *
{v. phr.}, {informal} 1. Not to hit as hard as you can. * /Jimmy pulled his punches and let Paul win the boxing match./ 2. To hide unpleasant facts or make them seem good. - Usually used in the negative. * /The mayor spoke bluntly; he didn't pull any punches./ Contrast: STRAIGHT PROM THE SHOULDER.

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pull one's punches — {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. Not to hit as hard as you can. * /Jimmy pulled his punches and let Paul win the boxing match./ 2. To hide unpleasant facts or make them seem good. Usually used in the negative. * /The mayor spoke bluntly; he didn t pull… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • pull one's punches — see under ↑punch1 • • • Main Entry: ↑pull pull one s punches 1. To hold back one s blows 2. To be deliberately less hard hitting in one s criticism than one might be • • • Main Entry: ↑punch …   Useful english dictionary

  • pull one's punches — ► pull (one s) punches limit the severity of one s criticism or aggression. Main Entry: ↑pull …   English terms dictionary

  • pull one’s punches — 1. tv. to pull back during a boxing punch just before the full force of a blow is felt; to land lighter blows than normal upon an opponent. (Boxing and related sports.) □ The boxer started pulling his punches, and the ref ended the fight. □ He… …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • pull\ one's\ punches — v. phr. informal 1. Not to hit as hard as you can. Jimmy pulled his punches and let Paul win the boxing match. 2. To hide unpleasant facts or make them seem good. Usually used in the negative. The mayor spoke bluntly; he didn t pull any punches.… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • pull one's punches —  Show moderation. Be gentler than one need be …   A concise dictionary of English slang

  • pull one's punches — avoid defeat, remain idle …   English contemporary dictionary

  • pull (one's) punches usu. with negative — be less forceful, severe, or violent than one could be. → pull …   English new terms dictionary

  • pull punches — pull (one s) punches [usu. with negative] be less forceful, severe, or violent than one could be a smooth tongued critic who doesn t pull his punches * * * pull punches : to express criticism in a mild or kind way usually used in negative… …   Useful english dictionary

  • pull — ► VERB 1) exert force on (something) so as to move it towards oneself or the origin of the force. 2) remove by pulling. 3) informal bring out (a weapon) for use. 4) move steadily: the bus pulled away. 5) move oneself with effort or against… …   English terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.