Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

punctuate

play
verb punc·tu·ate \ˈpəŋk-chə-ˌwāt\

Simple Definition of punctuate

  • : to use punctuation marks in (a piece of writing)

  • : to interrupt or occur in (something) repeatedly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of punctuate

punctuated

punctuating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to mark or divide (written matter) with punctuation marks

  3. 2 :  to break into or interrupt at intervals <the steady click of her needles punctuated the silence — Edith Wharton>

  4. 3 :  accentuate, emphasize

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to use punctuation marks

punctuator

play \-ˌwā-tər\ noun

Examples of punctuate in a sentence

  1. Do you know how to punctuate a sentence correctly?

  2. <punctuated each and every word of his denial with a pound of his fist on the table>



Origin and Etymology of punctuate

Medieval Latin punctuatus, past participle of punctuare to point, provide with punctuation marks, from Latin punctus point


First Known Use: circa 1766


PUNCTUATE Defined for Kids

punctuate

play
verb punc·tu·ate \ˈpəŋk-chə-ˌwāt\

Definition of punctuate for Students

punctuated

punctuating

  1. 1 :  to add punctuation marks to writing

  2. 2 :  to interrupt or occur in repeatedly <His speech was punctuated by applause.>

  3. 3 :  to give emphasis to <She kept talking, using her hands sometimes to punctuate a point. — Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up punctuate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accommodate accomodate acommadate acommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ