pin·​point | \ ˈpin-ˌpȯint How to pronounce pinpoint (audio) \

Definition of pinpoint

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : something that is extremely small or insignificant
2 : the point of a pin
3 : an extremely small or sharp point



Definition of pinpoint (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : extremely fine or precise
2 : located, fixed, or directed with extreme precision pinpoint targets
3 : small as a pinpoint


pinpointed; pinpointing; pinpoints

Definition of pinpoint (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to locate or aim with great precision or accuracy pinpoint a source
2a : to fix, determine, or identify with precision pinpoint the cause
b : to cause to stand out conspicuously : highlight

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Synonyms & Antonyms for pinpoint

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of pinpoint in a Sentence

Adjective The pitcher showed pinpoint control of his fastball. the pinpoint measurement of brain tumors is critically important Verb They were finally able to pinpoint the cause of the fire. He pinpointed the city on the map. Rescuers were able to pinpoint where the lost girl was. The military uses computer imaging to pinpoint targets.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On some dashboards, the line graphs have each data point or segment labeled, but the graph is so small that the labels bleed together, forcing the user to mouse over each pinpoint dot on the graph to find precise info. Brian Feldman,, "The Software That’s Powering All the Coronavirus Dashboards," 14 May 2020 Such pinpoint tools have allowed Taiwan to minimize its outbreak without shutting down the economy. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "The web’s a threat to democracy? Think again, Taiwan says.," 8 Apr. 2020 The shell probably includes technology borrowed from the 155-millimeter Excalibur howitzer shell, which can hit targets—now including moving targets—with pinpoint accuracy. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Leaked Images Show the Army’s Mind-Bending New Super Gun," 25 Feb. 2020 His pinpoint pass onto Frenkie De Jong's chest and free-kick into the box for Sergio Busquets twice canceled out Betis' lead in an enthralling first half, before Clement Lenglet headed home the winner from another Messi cross in the second half. Matias Grez, CNN, "Lionel Messi puts out yet another Barcelona fire with a hat-trick of assists," 10 Feb. 2020 Captain defenseman Jonathan Wright made it 4-0 with a pinpoint slap shot just inside the blue line. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Seven Lakes hockey skating into ISHL stretch run," 10 Feb. 2020 Plunging earthward, invisible to spectators in the overnight sky, the rocket's center engine suddenly flared to life, four landing legs extended and the booster settled to a pinpoint touchdown on a SpaceX landing pad. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX Dragon bound for space station with tons of cargo," 7 Mar. 2020 Why temperature matters for good sleep Most conversations about how the human body prepares for sleep pinpoint light as the main factor. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "This Is the Best Temperature for Sleeping, According to Doctors," 21 Feb. 2020 Entrepreneurs are, in a sense, driving care to become more personalized, more mobile, more pinpoint, and more preventive in nature, and the changes are transforming virtually every aspect of the health care industry. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Barstool Sports is selling part of its business to a casino operator in a deal that values the company at $450 million," 29 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Saturday’s maneuver required pinpoint hand-eye coordination, body control and a flourish of power. Phil Thompson,, "Makeover needed for NBA dunk contest after iffy ending," 16 Feb. 2020 Those partnerships would be able to collect more detailed data that could more finely pinpoint actual demand by neighborhoods., "Early education and care access gaps in Boston," 5 Nov. 2019 Ice pick acne scars are small, narrow, pinpoint acne scars that penetrate deep into the skin, according to Gross. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Get Rid of Acne Scars—Forever," 21 Jan. 2019 In some cities, like Houston and Dallas, utilities have already undertaken to upgrade their systems with new, digital equipment, allowing repair crews to more precisely pinpoint damage during storms. James Osborne, Houston Chronicle, "Energy lobbyists increase pressure on Congress to speed up permitting," 8 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The newsroom was able to pinpoint 410 new infections by ZIP code compared with the previous week’s results. oregonlive, "New coronavirus data show West Salem hot spot, plus more infections in Oregon’s hard-hit neighborhoods," 13 May 2020 Where the markups are happening is difficult to pinpoint. Los Angeles Times, "Suppliers cash in as California taxpayers hit with wildly inflated prices for masks," 23 Apr. 2020 And researchers may be able to pinpoint emerging hot spots. NBC News, "Stopping COVID-19 will include monitoring and sharing personal data," 16 Apr. 2020 Although researchers have yet to pinpoint definitive causes of the disparities, decades of structural and economic inequality have no doubt been contributing factors. Brianna Provenzano,, "Taraji P. Henson Created Free Virtual Therapy For Black Communities Suffering From Coronavirus," 9 Apr. 2020 If an app allows it, send a photo to help the driver pinpoint the drop-off location. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know about restaurant food delivery during the coronavirus outbreak," 16 Mar. 2020 Better understanding the history of conditions on Mars can also help researchers pinpoint additional and alternative locations for further study. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Water Is Disappearing from the Surface of Mars Like Crazy," 10 Jan. 2020 Investigators have been unable to pinpoint any single cause of the illnesses, though vitamin E acetate has been implicated. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Will vaping bans do more harm than good? Some public health experts say yes.," 12 Dec. 2019 Investigators are working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to pinpoint the precise cause of his death, a medical examiner’s spokeswoman said Wednesday. Christine Dempsey,, "Probe of Windham toddler’s death continues," 17 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of pinpoint


1670, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pinpoint

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinpoint was in 1670

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Statistics for pinpoint

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pinpoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pinpoint


How to pronounce pinpoint (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pinpoint

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a very small point or dot



English Language Learners Definition of pinpoint (Entry 2 of 3)

: very exact or precise



English Language Learners Definition of pinpoint (Entry 3 of 3)

: to find out (something) with certainty
: to find or locate the exact position of (something)


pin·​point | \ ˈpin-ˌpȯint How to pronounce pinpoint (audio) \
pinpointed; pinpointing

Kids Definition of pinpoint

: to locate or find out exactly Can you pinpoint the cause of the problem?

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