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1. To do something, such as signing in or stamping a time card, to officially record the beginning of a shift or day of work. A noun, pronoun, or reflexive pronoun can be used between "punch" and "in." We'd like to remind all employees that they will not be paid for any work they've done before they punch in. Sarah's going to be a couple of minutes late, so she asked me to punch her in. I keep forgetting to punch myself in when I get into work.
2. To input data (into something) using a keypad or keyboard. Let me just punch in the code for the alarm before we leave. I've been punching in numbers from the survey into a spreadsheet all morning.
punch someone in something
to strike someone in some body part. Tony punched Nick in the side. Why didn't you punch that mean guy in the nose?
punch something in
to crush or smash something in. Who punched the cereal box in? Who punched in the cereal box?
to record one's arrival at one's workplace at a certain time. What time did you punch in? I punched in at the regular time.
1. Also, punch a or the clock . Check in at a job upon arrival, as in You have to punch in or you won't get paid, or In this office no one has to punch a clock. This usage alludes to the use of a time clock, which has a button an employee punches or strikes to record the time of arrival on a card. [1920s] Also see punch out, def. 1.
2. Keyboard data into a computer, as in He was careful about punching in all the payments. [Mid-1900s]
1. To check in formally at a job upon arrival, especially by stamping the arrival time on a timecard: I punched in ten minutes late this morning and the company fired me.
2. To enter some data on a keypad or similar device: I punched in my access code and I was allowed through the door.