point·​er | \ ˈpȯin-tər How to pronounce pointer (audio) \

Definition of pointer

1a Pointers plural : the two stars in the Big Dipper a line through which points to the North Star
b : one that points out especially : a rod used to direct attention
c : a computer memory address that contains another address (as of desired data)
2 : any of various large, strong, slender gundogs that hunt by scent and indicate the presence of game by pointing (see point entry 2 sense 4b) specifically : any of an English breed of agile, muscular dogs having a short, smooth coat that is usually white with patches of liver, pale yellow, black, or orange and a moderately long tapered tail — see also german shorthaired pointer, german wirehaired pointer
3 : one that furnishes with points
4 : a useful suggestion or hint : tip

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Synonyms for pointer


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Examples of pointer in a Sentence

Let me give you a few pointers on managing a successful business. The latest data gives a pointer to the economy's overall growth. This may be a pointer to a very serious problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web Tre Mann misses a three-pointer and it is rebounded by Devo Davis. Scottie Bordelon, Arkansas Online, "Hogs win 7th straight in SEC, down Florida 75-64," 17 Feb. 2021 Roberts had 18 points, including a key three-pointer in the fourth quarter to give his team a six-point lead while Khaden Bennett had 17 points with a clutch three-point-play. Dallas News, "Basketball replay: South Grand Prairie boys edge Arlington Lamar to complete perfect regular season," 13 Feb. 2021 Reid had the option of going for the score or kicking the ball out for a three-pointer. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, "Naz Reid's strong night for Timberwolves comes up one basket short," 7 Feb. 2021 Sophomore Marcus Rivera drilled a go-ahead three pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation for the visiting Raiders (5-2). Mike Puzzanghera, BostonGlobe.com, "Austin Prep, St. Mary’s girls’ hockey fit to be tied — yet again — in Catholic Central rivalry," 3 Feb. 2021 Cleveland State trailed for nearly the entirety of the second half before putting together a 16-5 run capped off by a three-pointer from Jayson Woodrich to take a 57-53 edge with 4:51 left to play. Special To Cleveland.com, cleveland, "Last-second dunk keeps Cleveland State perfect in Horizon League with 66-64 victory over Wright State," 16 Jan. 2021 Utah Utes guard Alfonso Plummer (25) celebrates a three pointer as the Utes host the Stanford Cardinals on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah men’s basketball has given effort, which finally morphed into a win vs. Stanford," 14 Jan. 2021 Read more and see how Curry’s three-pointer changed the game. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: An utterly confusing vaccine rollout," 13 Jan. 2021 Blackburn said, referring to a chapter in Enberg’s biography, after Campbell swung a quick pass around the top of the arc to Jake Kyman for a three-pointer in the first half. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coach Mick Cronin laments defensive ‘breakdowns’ as UCLA falls to No. 20 Ohio State," 19 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pointer.' 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 pointer

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for pointer

Time Traveler

The first known use of pointer was in 1534

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Statistics for pointer

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pointer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pointer. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pointer



English Language Learners Definition of pointer

: a useful suggestion about how to do or understand something better
British : a sign that shows the condition or existence of something
: a thin stick that a person uses to show people where to look on a screen, map, etc.


point·​er | \ ˈpȯin-tər How to pronounce pointer (audio) \

Kids Definition of pointer

1 : something that points or is used for pointing
2 : a helpful hint I got a few pointers on diving.
3 : a large dog with long ears and short hair that is trained to direct its head and body in the direction of an animal that is being hunted


Medical Definition of pointer

— see hip pointer

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Comments on pointer

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