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 Schroder had two assists, one on a Kyle Kuzma three-pointer and another on an alley-oop dunk by Drummond, to help the Lakers take an early lead in overtime. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Lakers beat Jazz in overtime battle of attrition," 17 Apr. 2021 Oregon State pulled even at 55 on a three-pointer by Hunt with 3:46 left. oregonlive, "Oregon State’s furious second-half rally isn’t enough, as Houston edges Beavers 67-61 in Midwest Regional final," 30 Mar. 2021 Top-seeded Virginia — a four seed in the East region according to USA TODAY Sports' latest bracketology — battled No. 8 Syracuse in the quarterfinals Wednesday and won 72-69 on a buzzer-beater three-pointer by freshman Reece Beekman. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Virginia men's basketball out of ACC tournament after COVID-19 positive; Georgia Tech to final," 12 Mar. 2021 The Aggies started 14 of 25 from the field and took a 35-21 lead on Andre Gordon's three-pointer with 7:10 left in the first half. Bob Holt, Arkansas Online, "1994 revisited," 7 Mar. 2021 In the second half, Penn State extended its lead to 54-30 after on Jamari Wheeler's three-pointer with 17:16 to play. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Road record falls to 0-10 as Gophers basketball loses 84-65 to Penn State," 3 Mar. 2021 Milwaukee, which once trailed by as many as 23 in the second half, cut the Toronto (14-15) lead to 89-79 early in the fourth quarter on a Pat Connaughton three-pointer but followed that with a turnover which led to a Raptors bucket. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Raptors 110, Bucks 96: Milwaukee is in its worst losing streak in four seasons," 18 Feb. 2021 Oklahoma State freshman forward Cade Cunningham connected on a 28-foot three-pointer for his first points of the game, which cut the Longhorns’ lead down to six. Dallas News, "Longhorns lose third straight game in 75–67 defeat to Oklahoma State," 6 Feb. 2021 Alabama 35, Mississippi State 33 (2:06, first half): A competitive first half continues but Alabama has re-taken the lead on a John Petty three-pointer. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "Rewinding Alabama’s win over Mississippi State," 24 Jan. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pointer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pointer. Accessed 11 May. 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

Comments on pointer

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