point·​er | \ˈpȯin-tər \

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


hint, lead, tip

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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

On Saturdays, the smiley activities coordinator Wes hosts a star-gazing night, highlighting planets with a special laser pointer that extends into the sky. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "I Ditched My Phone for a Montana Cattle Drive (and Finally Dealt With My Feelings)," 3 Oct. 2018 LAS VEGAS - An early rain of three-pointers dried up in a major way and the Milwaukee Bucks weren't able to recover in an 81-78 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in their Las Vegas summer league game on Sunday at Cox Pavilion. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sterling Brown has more of an offensive role in summer-league loss to Mavericks," 8 July 2018 Curry said, after surpassing Ray Allen’s previous single-game mark of eight three-pointers, set in 2010. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Put Their Tug-of-War Behind Them," 4 June 2018 His play thus far as a professional has been inconsistent, and his affinity for awkward floaters as opposed to dunks and long mid-range jumpers instead of three-pointers hurt his future outlook. Sean Meagher, OregonLive.com, "Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers Game 5 score, TV channel, how to watch live stream," 23 May 2018 After making 12 of 24 three-pointers in the upset of Virginia, UMBC made just 6 of 22 attempts against Kansas State. Jerry Brewer, chicagotribune.com, "For UMBC, the NCAA magic is fleeting, but the memories will be lasting," 19 Mar. 2018 Philly will look for swingman Furkan Korkmaz to reclaim his shooting touch The second-year player had a game-high 40 points and hit 8 of 12 three-pointers in Friday’s loss to the Boston Celtics. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers to open NBA Summer League playoffs against Mikal Bridges, Suns," 11 July 2018 Developers would be able to customize the visibility and appearance of the mouse pointer in Xbox One titles as well. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Xbox One mouse-and-keyboard support could be rolling out soon," 25 June 2018 Steph Curry scored a Finals record nine three-pointers in Game 2 on the way to a 122-103 win. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "How to Watch Warriors vs. Cavaliers: NBA Finals Game 3 Live Stream, TV Channel," 5 June 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

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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 \

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).


by force of circumstances

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