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punt (n.1)

in football, "a kick of the ball as it is dropped from the hands and before it strikes the ground," 1845; from punt (v.).

punt (n.2)

"flat-bottomed, square-ended, mastless river boat," c. 1500, perhaps a local survival of late Old English punt, which probably is from British Latin ponto "flat-bottomed boat" (see OED), a kind of Gallic transport (Caesar), also "floating bridge" (Gellius), from Latin pontem (nominative pons) "bridge" (from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go;" see find (v.)). Or from or influenced by Old French cognate pont "large, flat boat." Compare pontoon.

punt (v.1)

"to kick a ball dropped from the hands before it hits the ground," 1845, first in a Rugby list of football rules, of obscure origin; perhaps from dialectal punt "to push, strike," alteration of Midlands dialect bunt "to push, butt with the head," of unknown origin, perhaps echoic (compare bunt).

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.

punt (v.2)

"to propel as a punt is usually moved," by pushing with a pole against the bed of the body of water, 1816, from punt (n.2). Related: Punted; punting.

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Definitions of punt from WordNet
1
punt (v.)
kick the ball;
punt (v.)
propel with a pole;
We went punting in Cambridge
Synonyms: pole
punt (v.)
place a bet on;
Synonyms: bet on / back / gage / stake / game
2
punt (n.)
formerly the basic unit of money in Ireland; equal to 100 pence;
Synonyms: Irish pound / Irish punt / pound
punt (n.)
an open flat-bottomed boat used in shallow waters and propelled by a long pole;
punt (n.)
(football) a kick in which the football is dropped from the hands and kicked before it touches the ground;
punting is an important part of the game
the punt traveled 50 yards
Synonyms: punting
From wordnet.princeton.edu