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 Endalkachew Mekonnen of Nazret Ethiopia Restaurant in Falls Church, Va., made a few recommendations with pinpoint accuracy. Washington Post, "Misir wot is the spicy, one-pot lentil dish we’ll never tire of," 21 Apr. 2021 Flat light, mountain winds and unpredictable weather pose a risk to any pilot flying in Alaska’s backcountry, especially on heli-ski trips that demand pinpoint landing accuracy in difficult terrain. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "NTSB: Heli-ski pilot was maneuvering over a Chugach mountain ridge just before crash that killed 5," 14 Apr. 2021 Freddy Peralta did not have pinpoint control Tuesday night. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 4, Cubs 0: Travis Shaw's three-run homer backs strong outing by Freddy Peralta and bullpen," 6 Apr. 2021 Browns win a close game 28-21 on the back of Nick Chubb and a few pinpoint Mayfield red zone touchdowns. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Predicting Browns-Ravens: What key matchups and factors will decide the game?," 12 Dec. 2020 Appearing lethargic, confused and slurring his speech, the driver also had pinpoint pupils, a sign of possible opiate use. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Easter egg scam hits home after family shells out $50: Orange Police Blotter," 16 Apr. 2021 Weaver — who flashed pinpoint command with a mid-90s fastball — needed just 94 pitches over seven innings to carve through Cincinnati's red-hot lineup, throwing 63 strikes. David Brandt, Star Tribune, "Weaver takes no-hitter into 7th, Diamondbacks top Reds 7-0," 11 Apr. 2021 In a captivating sequence with about two minutes remaining, Suggs blocked UCLA big man Cody Riley and then snapped a pinpoint bounce pass the length of the court to a running Timme, who slammed it home. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Greatest NCAA Tournament game ever? The 7 best moments from Gonzaga's buzzer-beating win vs. UCLA," 4 Apr. 2021 Music director Mei-Ann Chen’s typical maximalist gestures coaxed a dense, pinpoint sound from the orchestra. Hannah Edgar,, "Review: A musical plea for justice in Chicago Sinfonietta’s first virtual MLK concert," 29 Mar. 2021 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 Tagovaloia also struggled to pinpoint a few passes in the end zone once the team got into scoring position. Daniel Oyefusi,, "3 takeaways from Maryland’s Red-White spring football game," 24 Apr. 2021 Jessica admitted that Ravelry has struggled to pinpoint exactly what constitutes inappropriate content. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "How Politics Tested Ravelry and the Crafting Community," 22 Mar. 2021 Archaeologists have long struggled to pinpoint the origins and movements of those intrepid seafarers. Andrew Lawler, History & Culture, "Invaders nearly wiped out Caribbean’s first people long before Spanish came, DNA reveals," 23 Dec. 2020 Because of the rarity of the disorder and the complexity of its environmental triggers, early studies of summer SAD struggled to pinpoint a precise target for care, a shortcoming that’s been magnified by decades of underdiagnosing the disorder. National Geographic, "Why seasonal depression can happen in the summer too," 26 Aug. 2020 Mating at the age of 6, AC-9 helped researchers pinpoint the breeding age for condors. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Last California Condor in the wild was captured in 1987," 20 Apr. 2021 That information might help researchers pinpoint massive events that happen in the wilds of Alaska and other places. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Listening to avalanches half a state away," 17 Apr. 2021 And there are people with chronic fatigue syndrome, some of whom pinpoint the onset of their symptoms to a viral infection. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "How scientists are teasing apart the biology of Long COVID," 13 Apr. 2021 In 1941, he was honored for his service during the battle of Cape Matapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to pinpoint enemy vessels in the dark. Danica Kirka,, "Prince Philip honored with 41-gun salutes after his death, just two months before his 100th birthday," 10 Apr. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pinpoint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pinpoint



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?

Comments on pinpoint

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