from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A game having rules similar to baseball but played with a rubber ball that is batted with the fist.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A simplified version of the sport of baseball, where players use their fists as a bat and a softer ball.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an inflated ball or bag that is suspended and punched for training in boxing
Sorry, no etymologies found.
And I shouldn't neglect to say that even as a four-eyes totally bookish wimp introvert, I did a moderate amount of playing with the kids in the neighborhood, in the street: stickball, and punchball, and bouncing the ball off the stoops, and just running around the backyards of houses we shouldn't go near, climbing trees and fences, wrestling, etc.
Plus all the city-street variations of baseball: stickball, punchball, stoopball, curb ball and baseball-off-the-wall.
'The noble sport', as Uncle Vernon called it, had made Dudley even more formidable than he had seemed to Harry in their primary school days when he had served as Dudley's first punchball.
Just like Philammon struggling with his punchball.
Just like Philammon struggling with his punchball is equivalent to ‘you would have thought he was Philammon struggling with his punchball’; and
I had a narrow escape from a meat cleaver, which landed in the bonnet of my car yards from my fingers and I suffered a fractured sternum when I was used as a punchball while trying to sort out a domestic dispute.
Except for Eddie Rust and Steve Bartha, who lived on our block and occasionally joined us girls in punchball, Johnny was the first boy my age that I ever really talked to.
It gave onto a bathroom so big that there was a punchball set up in the middle.
I was fortunate enough to learn the rules of baseball, or at least its street variants, punchball and stickball, as a very young child.
Joseph Vincent Paterno was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Dec. 21, 1926, and grew up in a neighborhood where, he recalled, "playing daily at sports was our work: not only touch football but also punchball and stickball," according to a Penn State biography.