junc·​ture ˈjəŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce juncture (audio)
: a point of time
at this juncture
especially : one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances
: the manner of transition or mode of relationship between two consecutive sounds in speech
: an instance of joining : junction

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Join us as we journey into the history of juncture, a word that’s neither junky nor janky, but just dandy. Juncture comes from the Latin verb jungere ("to join") and has many English relatives including not only join and junction but also conjugal ("relating to marriage") and junta ("a group of persons controlling a government"). The use of juncture in English dates back to the 14th century, when it meant "a place where two or more things are joined." By the 17th century it could also refer to an important point in a process or activity.

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of juncture in a Sentence

Negotiations between the countries reached a critical juncture. At this juncture it looks like they are going to get a divorce. the juncture of two rivers
Recent Examples on the Web The terminal’s massive steel framework — all 11,000 tons of it — is now 100 percent complete, marking a critical juncture in the first phase of what will eventually be a 30-gate, state-of-the-art building that will take the place of the airport’s 1960s-era facility. Lori Weisberg, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Nov. 2023 His campaigning was briefly hampered by a positive Covid-19 diagnosis at a critical juncture just two weeks out from the election, which prevented him from being on the road for five days. Helen Regan, CNN, 13 Oct. 2023 McCarthy’s ouster after fewer than nine months on the job comes at a critical juncture for the economy. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 4 Oct. 2023 The push to highlight the trial comes at a critical juncture for Mr. Trump’s primary challengers, who face a narrowing window to show signs of life in a race that Mr. Trump has threatened to run away with. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, 1 Oct. 2023 Washington — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Washington this week comes at a critical juncture for his alliance with the United States as Republican leaders in Congress diverge on how to send more military and humanitarian aid to the country. CBS News, 19 Sep. 2023 The addition and promotions come at a critical juncture for the Orioles. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 14 Sep. 2023 This wasn’t the first time that Netanyahu had taken ill at critical junctures. Ruth Margalit, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 She was also inspired by the ability of these extraordinary women to adapt and innovate at different junctures in their careers. Lauren Paige Richeson, Essence, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'juncture.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of juncture was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near juncture

Cite this Entry

“Juncture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juncture. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


junc·​ture ˈjəŋ(k)-chər How to pronounce juncture (audio)
: an instance of joining : union
: an important point of time
they feel they must make a decision at this juncture

More from Merriam-Webster on juncture

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