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


hand, index, indicator, needle

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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

Still need a few pointers on fashion’s biggest night? Vogue, "Anna Wintour on Katy Perry, Harry Styles, and the True Meaning of Camp," 2 May 2019 Here are a few pointers for whoever makes a grab for the Iron Throne this season. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "How to Storm a Castle," 11 Apr. 2019 In 2017-18, Ariza made a career-high 2.5 three-pointers per game and shot a career-best 85.4 percent from the free throw line to help Houston win a franchise record 65 games. azcentral, "Phoenix Suns introduce NBA free agent signing Trevor Ariza at news conference," 6 July 2018 Weaknesses • Knox made only 34.1% of his three-pointers, but has solid shooting mechanics and should become more consistent with more repetitions. Heather Boehm, SI.com, "Knicks Select Kevin Knox II with No. 9 Pick in 2018 NBA Draft," 21 June 2018 The sophomore guard averaged 39 points over three games went off for 46 in the championship game, hitting 5 of 9 three-pointers. Sandy Ringer, The Seattle Times, "Big-time talent, small town: Kittitas’ Brock Ravet looking for one more title before going to Gonzaga," 19 Feb. 2019 Yet the second-quarter earnings reports of the FANGs-etc. offered a couple of pointers that shareholders might, just perhaps, be starting to shift away from the pursuit of growth at any cost. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Stories About FANGs Have Bite," 2 Aug. 2018 Home to the Dow Chemical Company, Midland (as the name suggests) is in the center of the state’s mitten shape, between the thumb and pointer finger. Ann Votaw, Marie Claire, "I Went to the Harvard of Santa Schools to Become Mrs. Claus," 20 Dec. 2018 The Tar Heels’ Luke Maye led all players with 20 points, including four three-pointers, while Pinson, a unique passing forward, had six assists and eight rebounds but just four points, going 1-for-10 from the field. Marc Tracy, New York Times, "Virginia Defeats North Carolina for A.C.C. Championship," 10 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for pointer

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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Time Traveler for pointer

The first known use of pointer was in 1534

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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

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


using a distributed computer network

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