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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He was known for his tremendous leg strength as well as his outstanding technique and pinpoint accuracy. cleveland, 11 May 2022 The specific cellular proteins that the venom molecules have evolved to target with pinpoint accuracy are what make the drugs derived from them — which use the same pathways — so effective. New York Times, 3 May 2022 The submarine carries torpedoes, and it's configured to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can strike targets a thousand miles away with pinpoint accuracy. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, 2 Apr. 2022 Also successfully amped up for Broadway are the sinister sets and pinpoint costumes by Anna Fleischle. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Olson was rounding third when Aquino scooped up the ground ball, but the pinpoint throw beat Olson to the plate by a step. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 18 Apr. 2022 Mayor Lumumba's short-term goal for the city is to identify a means to stabilize Jackson's water treatment facilities and pinpoint solutions to repair them. Maya Brown, CNN, 19 Apr. 2022 A couple months before the pandemic started, Joseph Ford started experiencing a rash of pinpoint polka dots around his lips, ankles, and lower legs. Angus Chen, STAT, 14 Apr. 2022 The guidance recommends that individuals learn the signs of opioid overdose -- including slowed breathing and pinpoint pupils -- and get trained in the use of naloxone, a potent antidote for opioid overdoses. Byeli Cahan, ABC News, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Saturday’s maneuver required pinpoint hand-eye coordination, body control and a flourish of power. Phil Thompson,, 16 Feb. 2020 Those partnerships would be able to collect more detailed data that could more finely pinpoint actual demand by neighborhoods., 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, 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, 8 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For instance, similar to the way that bats use echolocation to hunt their prey and avoid obstacles, these echoes can help researchers pinpoint more precisely the location of the black hole’s edge. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 6 May 2022 Licorice Pizza and West Side Story are trickier to pinpoint because their approaches are more balanced along the gender binary. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Mar. 2022 Growth marketing strategies and tactics help companies pinpoint and refine efforts that will increase ROI. John Hall, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 Clues from fossil fish help scientists pinpoint the season when Earth’s fifth mass extinction began Spring is often a time of new growth, when life blooms forth. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Feb. 2022 Many guests at resorts don’t wear avalanche beacons or safety gear that can help searchers pinpoint their location, Burns said. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Jan. 2022 Geologists routinely use this technology to pinpoint mineral deposits. Rachel Berkowitz, Scientific American, 1 May 2022 The Clinic’s research also could help scientists pinpoint preexisting conditions that should disqualify someone for space travel, Mroz said. cleveland, 28 Apr. 2022 Dermatologists can help pinpoint the best solutions for improving hair health, as well as the underlying factors that contribute to your unique situation. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near pinpoint

pin perforation


pin-point clover

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Statistics for pinpoint

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pinpoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pinpoint


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?

More from Merriam-Webster on pinpoint

Nglish: Translation of pinpoint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pinpoint for Arabic Speakers


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