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
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
(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 uppoint 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

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Synonyms for point

Synonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The point is, Texas must earn its place in a competitive global market, not simply demand everyone get with the program. Liam Denning, Chron, "Texas railroad commissioner vents at France," 18 Jan. 2021 The first point to understand is that this blowout has nothing to do with economic stimulus. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Biden’s First Spending Blowout," 15 Jan. 2021 The point is, parenting is way more than a full-time job. Marina Gomberg, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Marina Gomberg says parenting fatigue is real, so much so that she can’t even finish this headl….," 15 Jan. 2021 Needless to say, the point of Ciorniciuc’s immersive, lively, warm and heartbreaking film is not to see the Enaches in the park as total paradise and their stab at urban living as some terrible detour into restrictiveness. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Acasa, My Home’ movingly explores the tug of war between nature and civilization," 14 Jan. 2021 While analysts believe the job market will recover quickly once vaccines are widely distributed, that point isn't likely to be reached until later this summer or fall. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Unemployment claims surge as pandemic weighs on businesses," 14 Jan. 2021 The point of the Argonne research, however, is to learn about the effects of extremely powerful magnetic fields with an eye toward the day when such fields will be available from smaller magnets. Abe Dane, Popular Mechanics, "Remembering Jet Ships: The Futuristic 100-Knot Superboat That Never Was," 14 Jan. 2021 At least three operate offshore in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom — even though the whole point of such trusts is that they are supposed to provide a US contact for the FAA. BostonGlobe.com, "Secrets in the sky," 13 Jan. 2021 The starting point for the primary bathroom was a black and white Pierre Frey fabric called Manhattan Toile, which adds visual depth to the front of the vanity. House Beautiful, "A Timeless Brookline Home Designed to Be Durable," 13 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Contact tracing numbers locally did not point to businesses and restaurants as a cause of the recent spread, Glassman said. S. Wayne Carter Jr., baltimoresun.com, "Harford County Executive Barry Glassman to announce actions in response to rising COVID-19 cases," 12 Nov. 2020 The pride flag from Popcorn's clue packages might not necessarily point to someone who is in the LGBTQ community, or an icon for that community. Ariana Brockington, refinery29.com, "Is The Masked Singer Popcorn Really Taylor Dayne?," 11 Nov. 2020 But the audio recordings — the latest in a string of misinformation related to the election in Michigan — do not point to anything nefarious, despite the video’s ominous-sounding music. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "Video falsely claims Detroit poll workers were trained to steal election. Here are the facts.," 11 Nov. 2020 Questions from Barrett, who joined the court late last month following her hurried nomination and confirmation to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, did not point to a clear outcome. Mark Sherman, chicagotribune.com, "Supreme Court appears likely to leave Obamacare in place after the individual mandate is repealed under Trump," 10 Nov. 2020 But Ball is only 19 years old and possesses a rare tool kit, one that typically doesn’t point to failure. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "2020 NBA Draft: Is LaMelo Ball worth the No. 1 pick? How good will he be? -- Chris Fedor," 27 Oct. 2020 The median white household income is 81 times greater than Black households in Washington, D.C., which the post does not point out. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Median wealth is 81 times higher for white vs. Black households — in DC," 22 Oct. 2020 That doesn’t point to a populace that no longer enjoys shopping outside of the home. Matt Rubel, WSJ, "For the Retail Industry, 2020 Was a Wild Ride," 15 Dec. 2020 BestReviews has compiled a list to help point you in the right direction of gifts that are thoughtful, but not too expensive. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Daywatch: How to shop on an unusual Black Friday," 27 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for point

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for point

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/point. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for point

point

noun
How to pronounce point (audio)

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

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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

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Comments on point

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