from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A keyboard machine that is used to punch holes in cards or tapes for data-processing systems.
  • transitive v. To process on or use such a keyboard machine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device, in which one or a combination of keys are pressed to punch holes in punched cards or paper tape that correspond to a particular character
  • n. an electric machine with a keyboard that has the same function
  • v. To use such a device or machine


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Up until that time all changes made to the immense data base that we maintained on personnel and equipment was done via 'keypunch' cards.


  • In the 1988 Democratic primary in Delaware, a keypunch error gave Samuel Beard 2,800 votes more than he received in a race against incumbent Lt. Gov.

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  • The Senate still files its campaign finance reports on paper (!), forcing the FEC to re-keypunch their data and delaying vital disclosure of who is funding their campaigns by more months.

    Can the Internet Counter the Coming Gusher of Money in Politics?

  • The quick progression after I left home at 16 was keypunch operator to computer programmer to waitress to barmaid to go-go dancer to streetwalker to call girl to PORN STAR!

    An Interview With Vanessa del Rio: Legendary Porn Star Talks Changing New York, Subway Perverts, And A Madame In The Governor's Mansion

  • Ms. Crupi, 49, who joined the company in 1983 as a keypunch operator, had primary responsibility for a bank account that allegedly served as the main Ponzi scheme fund Mr. Madoff ' s firms used to receive investors ' money and pay redemptions.

    Two Ex-Madoff Employees Face Criminal Charges

  • I show them replica of original Hollerith machine for census, then early IBM keypunch, and a few punch cards, noting that I used to punch whole decks of them.


  • Which means fewer tellers to cash checks, fewer keypunch clerks to process them and fewer couriers to move bags of checks around.

    So Who Needs A Megabank?

  • After years of dismal productivity performance, banks, insurers and stockbrokers have finally figured out how to put computers to work efficiently, making thousands of filing clerks and keypunch operators redundant.

    Can Anyone Spare A Job?

  • I soon saw that just as keypunch operation went from being a valuable skill to total obsolescence, so would manufacturing take on great upheavals in job changes.

    I Heart Chicago

  • Making corrections using a hand-me-down keypunch machine in the back room of the Eastern High School Physics lab.



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