In football, a punt is performed by a punter (or a kicker) when the ball is snapped directly to them and they kick the ball downfield. The ball is handled horizontally from the ground, with the tip of the ball pointing either slightly up or down depending on if the punter wants the ball to go further after the ball hits the ground or come back in the direction of the line of scrimmage. The player who catches the snap will drop the ball and kick it before it hits the ground. Punts happen when a team wants to give possession to the other team instead of trying for a 4th down, hoping that the punter's team will benefit from the new field placement.
The punt kick can be blocked by the defensive team and get returned. Although this is less common, it is a huge advantage for the team that blocked the punt. The ball is called dead after the punt if the ball goes out of bounds or goes past the goal line. The defensive returner can call for a 'fair catch' where the ball is called dead at the spot of the catch.