noun junc·ture \ ˈjəŋ(k)-chər \
|Updated on: 13 Aug 2018

Definition of juncture

1 : a point of time
  • at this juncture
; especially : one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances
2 a : joint, connection
b : the manner of transition or mode of relationship between two consecutive sounds in speech
3 : an instance of joining : junction

juncture was our Word of the Day on 04/10/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of juncture in a Sentence

  1. Negotiations between the countries reached a critical juncture.

  2. At this juncture it looks like they are going to get a divorce.

  3. the juncture of two rivers

Recent Examples of juncture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'juncture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Juncture has many relatives in English - and some of them are easy to spot, whereas others are not so obvious. Juncture derives from the Latin verb jungere (to join), which gave us not only join and junction but also conjugal (relating to marriage) and junta (a group of persons controlling a government). Jungere also has distant etymological connections to joust, jugular, juxtapose, yoga and yoke. The use of juncture in English dates back to the 14th century. Originally, the word meant "a place where two or more things are joined," but by the 17th century it could also be used of an important point in time or of a stage in a process or activity.

First Known Use of juncture

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 2a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Synonym Discussion of juncture

juncture, exigency, emergency, contingency, pinch, strait (or straits) crisis mean a critical or crucial time or state of affairs. juncture stresses the significant concurrence or convergence of events.
    • an important juncture in our country's history
exigency stresses the pressure of restrictions or urgency of demands created by a special situation.
    • provide for exigencies
emergency applies to a sudden unforeseen situation requiring prompt action to avoid disaster.
    • the presence of mind needed to deal with emergencies
contingency implies an emergency or exigency that is regarded as possible but uncertain of occurrence.
    • contingency plans
pinch implies urgency or pressure for action to a less intense degree than exigency or emergency.
    • come through in a pinch
strait, now commonly straits, applies to a troublesome situation from which escape is extremely difficult.
    • in dire straits
crisis applies to a juncture whose outcome will make a decisive difference.
    • a crisis of confidence

JUNCTURE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of juncture for English Language Learners

  • : an important point in a process or activity

  • : a place where things join

JUNCTURE Defined for Kids


noun junc·ture \ ˈjəŋk-chər \

Definition of juncture for Students

: an important or particular point or stage in a process or activity

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


having an air of easy unconcern

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!