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 Westin Allen’s three-pointer from the corner with nine second left sealed the 53-52 win for Henryville over Salem Saturday. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Rock Creek's new facility brings hope and identity for the basketball team," 9 Dec. 2019 At times, when practices go long as coaches teach the young players, Green will be asked to cut his workout short or simply pepper teammates with pointers from the sideline. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors try to limit Draymond Green’s workload in lottery-bound season," 29 Nov. 2019 Three-pointers from Cedi Osman and Sexton twice cut the margin to three. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "3 important stats from Cleveland Cavaliers’ 119-113 loss to Boston Celtics," 6 Nov. 2019 The young actress has also received a few pointers from Ross, who narrates the series. Sydney Scott, Essence, "'Mixed-ish' Breakout Arica Himmel Is Learning From TV's Biggest Names," 9 Oct. 2019 Similarly, another two-pointer from Burnley's Ashley Barnes may be the final straw for most FPL owners, who undoubtedly brought him in after his bright start to the campaign. SI.com, "Fantasy Premier League: The Dream Team From Gameweek 8," 8 Oct. 2019 Try your luck at panning for gold in the river or from the dig pile, while getting pointers from the old hands. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Gold Country adventure: Roaring Camp is a hoot and a half," 5 Aug. 2019 LaCosse also is getting one-on-one pointers from Tom Brady, which is always a good sign. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Some early observations from Patriots camp," 30 July 2019 Bauer said Bass applied pointers from former colleagues and head coaches, including Coryell, yet didn’t take on their personalities and came off as authentic. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tom Bass, who coached under Coryell and Gillman, dies at 83," 29 July 2019

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

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pointer.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pointer?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=pointe04. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pointer


How to pronounce pointer (audio)

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).


good-natured easy friendliness

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