point

noun
\ ˈpȯint How to pronounce point (audio) \

Definition of point

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : an individual detail : item
(2) : a distinguishing detail tact is one of her strong points
b : the most important essential in a discussion or matter missed the whole point of the joke
c : cogency
2 obsolete : physical condition
3 : an end or object to be achieved : purpose did not see what point there was in continuing the discussion
4a : a geometric element that has zero dimensions and a location determinable by an ordered set of coordinates
b(1) : a narrowly localized place having a precisely indicated position walked to a point 50 yards north of the building
(2) : a particular place : locality have come from distant points
c(1) : an exact moment at this point I was interrupted
(2) : a time interval immediately before something indicated : verge at the point of death
d(1) : a particular step, stage, or degree in development had reached the point where nothing seemed to matter anymore
(2) : a definite position in a scale
5a : the terminal usually sharp or narrowly rounded part of something : tip
b : a weapon or tool having such a part and used for stabbing or piercing: such as
(1) : arrowhead
(2) : spearhead
c(1) : the contact or discharge extremity of an electric device (such as a spark plug or distributor)
(2) chiefly British : an electric outlet
6a : a projecting usually tapering piece of land or a sharp prominence
b(1) : the tip of a projecting body part
(2) : tine sense 2
(3) points plural : the extremities or markings of the extremities of an animal especially when of a color differing from the rest of the body
c : a railroad switch
d : the head of the bow of a stringed instrument
7 : a short musical phrase especially : a phrase in contrapuntal music
8a : a very small mark
9 : a lace for tying parts of a garment together used especially in the 16th and 17th centuries
10 : one of usually 11 divisions of a heraldic shield that determines the position of a charge
11a : one of the 32 equidistant spots of a compass card for indicating direction
b : the difference of 11¹/₄ degrees between two such successive points
c : a direction indicated by a compass point from all points of the compass
12 : a small detachment ahead of an advance guard or behind a rear guard
b : lace made with a bobbin
14 : one of 12 spaces marked off on each side of a backgammon board
15 : a unit of measurement: such as
a(1) : a unit of counting in the scoring of a game or contest
(2) : a unit used in evaluating the strength of a bridge hand
b : a unit of academic credit
c(1) : a unit used in quoting prices (as of stocks, bonds, and commodities)
(2) points plural : a percentage of the face value of a loan often added as a placement fee or service charge
(3) : a percentage of the profits of a business venture (such as a motion-picture production)
d : a unit of about ¹/₇₂ inch used especially to measure the size of type
16 : the action of pointing: such as
a : the rigidly intent attitude of a hunting dog marking game for a gunner
b : the action in dancing of extending one leg and arching the foot so that only the tips of the toes touch the floor
17 : a position of a player in various games (such as lacrosse) also : the player of such a position
18 : a number thrown on the first roll of the dice in craps which the player attempts to repeat before throwing a seven — compare missout, pass sense 13
19 : credit accruing from creating a good impression scored points for hard work
beside the point in point of
: with regard to : in the matter of in point of law in point of fact
to the point
: relevant, pertinent a suggestion that was to the point
on point
: relevant to the issue at hand : accurate and appropriate for the purpose or situation trying to stay on point And although much of this criticism is naïve, altogether too much of it is right on point— Richard Morin

point

verb
pointed; pointing; points

Definition of point (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to furnish with a point : sharpen pointing a pencil with a knife
b : to give added force, emphasis, or piquancy to point up a remark
2 : to scratch out the old mortar from the joints of (something, such as a brick wall) and fill in with new material
3a(1) : to mark the pauses or grammatical divisions in : punctuate
(2) : to separate (a decimal fraction) from an integer by a decimal point usually used with off
b : to mark (words, such as Hebrew words) with diacritics (such as vowel points)
4a(1) : to indicate the position or direction of especially by extending a finger point the way home
(2) : to direct someone's attention to point the way to new knowledge— Elizabeth Hall usually used with out or up point out a mistakepoints up the difference
b of a hunting dog : to indicate the presence and place of (game) by stiffening into a fixed position with head and gaze directed toward the animal hunted
5a : to cause to be turned in a particular direction point a gun pointed the boat upstream
b : to extend (a leg) and arch (the foot) in executing a point in dancing

intransitive verb

1a : to indicate the fact or probability of something specified everything points to a bright future
b : to indicate the position or direction of something especially by extending a finger point at the map
c : to direct attention can point with pride to their own traditions
d : to point game a dog that points well
2a : to lie extended, aimed, or turned in a particular direction a directional arrow that pointed to the north
b : to execute a point in dancing
3 of a ship : to sail close to the wind
4 : to train for a particular contest

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for point

Synonyms: Noun

juncture

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of point in a Sentence

Noun

She showed us several graphs to illustrate the point she was making. I see your point, but I don't think everyone will agree. There's no use in arguing the point. He made a very good point about the need for change. Let me make one final point. That's the point I've been trying to make. “What's your point?” “Actually, I have two points.” My point is simply that we must do something to help the homeless. “If we leave now, we won't make it back in time.” “That's a good point.” There are two critical points that I would like to discuss.

Verb

“It's not polite to point,” she said. When I asked the child where his mother was, he pointed in the direction of the house. Pointing with his cane, the old man asked, “Whose dog is that?”. She pointed her finger at the door. They pointed their microphones in my direction. We can leave when the minute hand points to 12. Stand with your arms at your sides and your hands pointing downward. The ship was pointing into the wind.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At this point, the Eagles have already absorbed the sting. BostonGlobe.com, "Before Boston College could even begin to regroup and look ahead to their first road trip of the season this Saturday at Rutgers, they had to stare down the film of their disastrous 48-24 loss to Kansas last week, take an inventory of all the breakdowns, and try to pinpoint possible fixes.," 17 Sep. 2019 National team manager Joachim Löw still seems to prefer Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer, but the hordes of fans on social media were eager to kick-start another debate - even if at this point the answer seems perfectly clear. SI.com, "Twitter Reacts as Quality Marc-André ter Stegen Performance Reignites Germany National Team Debate," 17 Sep. 2019 At this point, the group will meet once a month, most likely on a Saturday morning in the town of Windsor. courant.com, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 16 Sep. 2019 At this point in 2015, Sanders had a staff of about 40, according to Jeff Weaver who ran his 2016 campaign and is a senior adviser to his current operation. NBC News, "Sanders shakes up staff as campaign enters new phase," 16 Sep. 2019 At this point, sending up the plain-spoken virility of Ernest Hemingway — perhaps the most parodied of all American writers — may indeed be like shooting fish in a barrel. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Wives,’ the Other Halves Have Their Say," 16 Sep. 2019 My point is, our bodies are incredible works of art. Allure, "The 23 Best Body-Care Products of 2019," 16 Sep. 2019 Yards allowed: 744, the fewest at this point since 2003. San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 Thoughts after the Aztecs’ 31-10 win over New Mexico State," 15 Sep. 2019 To cut to the chase, though, there is no reason at this point to infer that the grand jury has voted against indicting McCabe. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Why It’s Unlikely the McCabe Grand Jury Voted against Indictment," 14 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Washington said, pointing to the chalk outlines in the street. Lauren Hernández, SFChronicle.com, "‘No more traffic deaths,’ SF residents chant in demonstration for pedestrian safety," 13 Sep. 2019 Like the previous exercise, keep your toes pointed straight ahead, and focus on knee position and good form. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "7 Exercises for Stronger Hamstrings," 13 Sep. 2019 In its report, NormShield appears to claim extensive success pointing out vulnerabilities to states. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke," 13 Sep. 2019 Hahn said and pointed to the forest in the distance. National Geographic, "Amazon fish species at risk if fires destroy river habitat," 13 Sep. 2019 In addition to a monument sign and directional signs pointing the way to the trail and parking, Lubich said a kiosk may be installed that could include a diagram of the trail and information about its flora and fauna. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Planners review Woodson parking, evacuation plan," 13 Sep. 2019 The bureau pledged to look into the Ramirez allegations, but Justice Kavanaugh’s detractors pointed to the Coons letter as evidence that her claims were given short shrift, and that corroborating witnesses were ignored. New York Times, "During Kavanaugh Hearings, Senator Alerted F.B.I. to New Allegation," 16 Sep. 2019 Decades from now, if and when the sculpture is completed, the man will be sitting astride a horse with a flowing mane, his left arm extended in front of him, pointing. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?," 16 Sep. 2019 Yet Biden sometimes draws searing appraisals from younger nonwhite activists who point to complexities in his record. CBS News, "Joe Biden says white people can "never fully understand" racism," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'point.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of point

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for point

Noun

Middle English, partly from Anglo-French, prick, dot, moment, from Latin punctum, from neuter of punctus, past participle of pungere to prick; partly from Anglo-French pointe sharp end, from Vulgar Latin *puncta, from Latin, feminine of punctus, past participle — more at pungent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about point

Statistics for point

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for point

The first known use of point was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for point

point

noun

English Language Learners Definition of point

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an idea that you try to make other people accept or understand
: a particular detail of an idea or argument
: the main or most important idea of something that is said or written

point

verb

English Language Learners Definition of point (Entry 2 of 2)

: to show someone where to look by moving your finger or an object held in your hand in a particular direction
: to cause the front or tip of (something) to be turned toward someone or something
: to have the end or tip extended, aimed, or turned in a specified direction

point

noun
\ ˈpȯint How to pronounce point (audio) \

Kids Definition of point

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a separate or particular detail : item She explained the main points of the plan.
2 : an individual quality : characteristic He has many good points.
3 : the chief idea or meaning the point of a story
4 : purpose, aim There's no point in trying any more.
5 : a geometric element that has a position but no dimensions and is pictured as a small dot
6 : a particular place or position We saw points of interest in the city.
7 : a particular stage or moment the boiling point Let's stop at this point.
8 : the usually sharp end (as of a sword, pin, or pencil)
9 : a piece of land that sticks out
10 : a dot in writing or printing
11 : one of the 32 marks indicating direction on a compass
12 : a unit of scoring in a game I scored fifteen points.

Other Words from point

pointed \ ˈpȯin-​təd \ adjective a pointed tool

point

verb
pointed; pointing

Kids Definition of point (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to show the position or direction of something especially by extending a finger in a particular direction He pointed to the door.
2 : to direct someone's attention to I pointed out the mistakes.
3 : aim entry 1 sense 1, direct She pointed the telescope toward Mars. The arrow pointed to the left.
4 : to give a sharp end to point a pencil

point

noun
\ ˈpȯint How to pronounce point (audio) \

Medical Definition of point

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a narrowly localized place or area
2 : the terminal usually sharp or narrowly rounded part of something
3 : a definite measurable position in a scale — see boiling point, freezing point

Medical Definition of point (Entry 2 of 2)

of an abscess
: to become distended with pus prior to breaking

Keep scrolling for more

point

noun

Legal Definition of point

1 : a particular detail, proposition, or issue of law specifically : point of error
2 : any of various incremental units used in measuring, fixing, or calculating something: as
a : a unit used in calculating a sentence by various factors (as aggravating or mitigating circumstances)
b : a unit used in the pricing of securities and valuation of markets
c : a charge to a borrower (as a mortgagor) that is equal to one percent of the principal and that is made at closing
in point or on point
: relevant to the legal issues at hand

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on point

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with point

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for point

Spanish Central: Translation of point

Nglish: Translation of point for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of point for Arabic Speakers

Comments on point

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!