point·​er ˈpȯin-tər How to pronounce pointer (audio)
Pointers plural : the two stars in the Big Dipper a line through which points to the North Star
: one that points out
especially : a rod used to direct attention
: a computer memory address that contains another address (as of desired data)
: 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
: one that furnishes with points
: a useful suggestion or hint : tip

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.
Recent Examples on the Web There are multiple modes, including shooting feathers, a 360° adjustable red pointer, a rotating cat wand and even spinning kitty balls. Samantha Booth, Rolling Stone, 16 Nov. 2023 The machine was a precise measuring device, using a system of adjustable metal arms and pointers that could be placed on any point of a sculpted model, such as the crown of the head, and used to locate the corresponding point on the surface of the marble copy. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2023 The first image features Swift in a brown plaid blazer holding up her pointer finger at her longtime collaborator to signal the No. 1 achievement while Antonoff is in a blue T-shirt holding up his hands in excitement. Ilana Kaplan, Peoplemag, 24 Oct. 2023 This report offers a few pointers on CVC sentiment. Byjessica Mathews, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2023 Clubs from Sacramento and San Jose took pointers from the National City group. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Oct. 2023 What’s exciting is that this entire process can be run with a laser no more powerful than a typical laser pointer. Tracy H. Schloemer, IEEE Spectrum, 19 Sep. 2023 Here are our pointers on making cornbread dressing that's memorable for all the best reasons. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, 18 Sep. 2023 To help set Rachel up for scallop success, Kendra and Chris gave a few more pointers: Pat the scallops dry, salt them before cooking, and then sear them almost entirely on one side before flipping to keep them from sticking to the pan. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pointer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of pointer was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near pointer

Cite this Entry

“Pointer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pointer. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


point·​er ˈpȯint-ər How to pronounce pointer (audio)
: one that points
especially : a rod used to direct attention
: a large dog with long ears and short hair that hunts by scent, and points game
: a useful hint : tip
pointers on how to study

Medical Definition


More from Merriam-Webster on pointer

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