point

1 of 2

noun

1
a(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
2
obsolete : physical condition
3
: an end or object to be achieved : purpose
did not see what point there was in continuing the discussion
4
a
: 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
5
a
: 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)
(2)
c(1)
: the contact or discharge extremity of an electric device (such as a spark plug or distributor)
(2)
chiefly British : an electric outlet
6
a
: a projecting usually tapering piece of land or a sharp prominence
b(1)
: the tip of a projecting body part
(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
8
a
: 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
11
a
: 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
13
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

point

2 of 2

verb

pointed; pointing; points

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a(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)
4
a(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 knowledgeElizabeth Hall
usually used with out or up
point out a mistake
points 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
5
a
: 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

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
Phrases
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 pointRichard Morin

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
At some point, Lui asks whether anyone knows the time. Jennifer Swann, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2024 That the prose doesn’t soar is the point: thick with explication, the sentences are sandbags, loaded onto the page to drive home the cumulative weight of work. The New Yorker, 12 June 2024
Verb
Paige Holland-Thielen, one of the former employees suing SpaceX, alleged that a principal engineer in December 2021 saw a graph on her computer that pointed downward. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2024 Sometimes, travelers are just searching for a light, airy room to stay in — perhaps one booked with Hilton Honors points — and a facility with beach and pool access. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for point 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near point

Cite this Entry

“Point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/point. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

point

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: an individual detail : item
two points that were important to remember
b
: a distinguishing detail : characteristic
politeness was a strong point
c
: the chief part or meaning
the point of the joke
2
: a goal to be achieved : purpose
there's no point in continuing
3
a
: a geometric element that has position but no dimensions and is pictured as a small dot
b
: a usually small or precise place : locality
a starting point
c
: an exact moment
at this point they were interrupted
d
: a step, stage, or degree in development or rank
the melting point of ice
up to a point it was a good performance
4
a
: the usually sharp or tapering end of something (as a sword or pencil) : tip
b
: either of two metal pieces in a distributor through which the circuit is made or broken
5
: a piece of land that sticks out
6
a
: a very small mark : dot
b
7
a
: one of the 32 marks indicating direction on a compass used by seamen
b
: the difference of 11¼ degrees between two such adjacent points
8
: a unit used in giving a value or score
scored fifteen points
9
: the action of pointing

point

2 of 2 verb
1
a
: to furnish with a point
point a pencil with a knife
b
: to give force to
point up a remark with actual examples
2
b
: to separate a fraction from a whole number by a decimal point
point off three decimal places
3
a
: to show the position or direction of especially by extending a finger
point out a house
b
: to direct someone's attention to
point out a mistake
c
: to indicate game by freezing into a fixed position with head and gaze directed toward the object hunted
a dog that points well
4
: to turn, face, or cause to be turned in a particular direction : aim
point the boat upstream
5
: to indicate the fact or probability of something
everything points to a bright future

Medical Definition

point

1 of 2 noun
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

point

2 of 2 intransitive verb
of an abscess
: to become distended with pus prior to breaking

Legal Definition

point

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on point

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