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

accurate, close, delicate, exact, fine, hairline, mathematical, precise, refined, rigorous, spot-on

Synonyms: Verb

distinguish, finger, ID, identify, single (out)

Antonyms: Adjective

coarse, imprecise, inaccurate, inexact, rough

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Examples of pinpoint in a Sentence


The pitcher showed pinpoint control of his fastball. the pinpoint measurement of brain tumors is critically important


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

His pinpoint passing would be a best-case vehicle for setting up Houston's three-point specialists, and his own shooting would help keep the lane clear for Harden and Paul. Rob Mahoney,, "The LeBron James Experiment: Considering NBA Free Agency Scenarios for The King," 27 June 2018 But that doesn’t change what makes him such a devastating playmaker: the pinpoint passes into the outstretched arms of wide receivers, the searing sprints into open space, the ankle-breaking body feints in tight quarters. Chris Johnson And Eric Single,, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2018: Nos. 10–1," 21 June 2018 Kerfoot made it 2-1 with a tip-in at 16:43 of the second period, but Josi quickly restored the two-goal cushion by lifting a shot over Varlamov following a pinpoint pass from Austin Watson. Pat Graham, The Seattle Times, "Predators beat Avalanche 4-1, Laviolette earns win No. 600," 21 Jan. 2019 But the most amazing feature of this 22-foot-high chamber is its dome, which can control solar simulations with pinpoint precision. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Futuristic Labs That Forge Gore-Tex," 28 Nov. 2016 The shell also incorporates fins and a guidance system, allowing it to engage pinpoint targets on land or missiles and aircraft in the air. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Quietly Tested Mach 3 Heavy Gun Shells That Could Revolutionize Surface Warfare," 8 Jan. 2019 One is struck by the intricacy and pinpoint precision of what must be endlessly rehearsed routines and, above all, the consistent level of coordination, teamwork, mutual dependence, and trust required to execute their duties. Don Aucoin,, "A Cirque du Soleil show that’s as interested in ‘Ahh’ as ‘Wow’," 29 June 2018 The Netherlands' second came when Xavi of all people lost possession and Blind clipped another pinpoint ball forward., "On This Day: 13th June - Louis van Gaal's Netherlands Humiliate World Cup Holders Spain in 2014," 13 June 2018 In the value of good, easy-to-watch basketball based on pinpoint passing, equal-opportunity shooting and defensive intelligence. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Loyola Chicago, team of 'winners' bound for Final Four, turns NCAA tournament fans into believers," 24 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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

While most people call 911 from their cellphones, pinpointing the location of those callers is difficult and can delay first responders or lead to unfavorable outcomes. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Why Your Apps Can Find You, But 911 Can’t," 18 Feb. 2019 The report pinpoints specific shortcomings of each company. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Reports to Senate criticize social media giants for providing incomplete data in Russia probe," 17 Dec. 2018 Using computer modelling, the team was able to pinpoint the precise location of the explosion, which was directly beneath the mountain’s mile-high summit. James Rogers, Fox News, "'10 times larger than Hiroshima': How North Korea's huge nuclear blast caused a mountain to collapse," 11 May 2018 Researchers in Huntersville have been analyzing the air, water, and land to see if anything could be directly related to the cancer, but haven't been able to pinpoint anything, according to WCNC-TV., "Groups Of Women Are Getting Ocular Melanoma & Nobody Knows Why," 2 May 2018 Four days later, armed with her DNA roadmap, doctors were able to pinpoint genetic markers for Ohtahara syndrome, a neurological disorder. Tarpley Hitt, miamiherald, "New rapid genetic sequencing saved this baby. Now, the test is coming to Miami | Miami Herald," 30 Apr. 2018 The Hopkins group was able to pinpoint the tissue of origin in many cases using its protein biomarkers. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Blood test shows promise for spotting early cancers," 17 Apr. 2018 Even though very few people witnessed the fall of the meteorite, Fries was able to pinpoint its trajectory using weather radar. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "A Research Ship Is Hunting Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington," 4 July 2018 Greensight’s software can pinpoint areas that may not be receiving enough water, or are falling prey to a fungal disease that can discolor the turf, and display images on a smartphone or laptop. Scott Kirsner,, "How golf startups are bringing innovation to a tradition-steeped game," 25 May 2018

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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Statistics for pinpoint

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pinpoint

The first known use of pinpoint was in 1670

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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?

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More from Merriam-Webster on pinpoint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pinpoint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pinpoint

Spanish Central: Translation of pinpoint

Nglish: Translation of pinpoint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pinpoint for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pinpoint

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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