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 Stidham has a sensational, accurate arm and can make pinpoint throws on the move. Nora Princiotti,, "Rookie Jarrett Stidham’s arm is already at a pro level," 30 July 2019 Satellite photos released by the Trump administration show at least 17 impacts at two major Saudi oil installations -- with what officials say was pinpoint accuracy -- slashing Saudi Arabia's oil output by half. Fox News, "Saudi Arabia oil facility attack launched from Iranian soil, US officials say," 16 Sep. 2019 The craft throttled its engine and maneuvered eastward, taking a parabolic path to a pinpoint landing on a nearby ground pad. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX's Starhopper prototype soars in 150-meter 'hop test'," 28 Aug. 2019 The Magic need a pinpoint shooter in the backcourt, and Johnson has those tools. Gary Washburn,, "Gary Washburn’s mock NBA Draft," 19 June 2019 After another brief rocket firing to slow down for re-entry, the stage homed in on Landing Zone 4 at the Air Force base, restarting a single engine and settling to a pinpoint touchdown just a few hundred feet from the launch pad. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX launches 3 satellites to monitor Canadian territory, impact of climate change," 12 June 2019 Jones completed all five off his passes and finished with a pinpoint 12-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Bennie Fowler., "Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants in NFL preseason: Time, score, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 16 Aug. 2019 Iran is likely to continue its project of hollowing out Syria, and Israel appears likely to continue its pinpoint strikes against the outlying hardware of that project, without touching its core. Jonathan Spyer, WSJ, "Getting Iran Out of Syria Is No Easy Task," 9 July 2019 Dragonfly takes after its namesake—an agile flying insect that can soar, hover and perform pinpoint touchdowns. Shannon Stirone, Scientific American, "New NASA Mission Will Fly Titan’s Frigid Skies to Search for Life’s Beginnings," 27 June 2019 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 To help travelers pinpoint affordable vacation destinations, GOBankingRates looked at five factors in 30 of the most popular U.S. cities to visit: safety, airfare, hotel price and food and drink costs. Gabrielle Olya, USA TODAY, "The best and worst US vacation cities for your wallet," 14 Sep. 2019 What3words, the company these friends founded in London five years ago, can now pinpoint a location more exactly than addresses do, especially if the place has multiple entrances or encompasses multiple buildings. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "These Guys Mapped Out Every 3-Meter Square on Earth with a Unique Three-Word Phrase," 4 Sep. 2019 Published earlier this year in Science, that colossal effort pinpointed 1.81 million earthquakes that shook Southern California between 2008 and 2017, all the way down to magnitude 0.3. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Groundbreaking earthquake catalog may have just solved a seismic mystery," 13 Aug. 2019 This, of course, doesn’t mean the technology can pinpoint crimes that will happen at specific times and specific locations. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "A California police robot is flagging “blacklisted” people and cars," 8 Aug. 2019 As dissent bubbled, Major League Baseball commissioned a study that was released last year and found that the ball had less drag, which allowed it to travel farther, but the researchers could not pinpoint the cause of the change. James Wagner, New York Times, "Latest Casualty of M.L.B.’s Changing Ball: Masahiro Tanaka’s Splitter," 5 Aug. 2019 Pinterest, on the other hand, delivers droves—which can lead those who haven’t yet pinpointed their aesthetic down that all-too-scary rabbit hole. Riley & Grey, Harper's BAZAAR, "When It Comes to Wedding Planning, Is Instagram the New Pinterest?," 30 July 2019 Hours are spent at libraries digging up history and sometimes days or weeks pass before Josh and Jeff can pinpoint their destination. Sarah Cook, al, "Birmingham magazine’s culture picks for July," 26 July 2019 Buchanan said investigators can’t definitively pinpoint the cause for this year’s drastic increase. Carol Robinson |,, "Alabama suffers 25 boating deaths in 2019, the deadliest year on state waters since 1998," 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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Statistics for pinpoint

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for pinpoint

The first known use of pinpoint was in 1670

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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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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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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