\ˈpȯint \

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

13a : needlepoint sense 1

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


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

Examples of point in a Sentence


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.


“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 a point 100 miles south of the dam, just west of the tiny community of Terra Bella, the canal dropped about 2 feet between 2015 and 2017. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 Ormand, now chairman and CEO, is widely credited with getting Lilis to this point, avoiding bankruptcy while navigating a treacherous road of headquarter relocations and several CEO changes. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Lilis may be an acquisition target," 13 July 2018 Despite a somewhat slow release that the coaching staff has made a point of emphasis, Hutchison has knocked down 7 of 12 from 3-point range. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls' Chandler Hutchison shows serious side about improvement," 12 July 2018 Eventually, battery technology got to the point where most all-electric cars easily maxed out that $7,500 cap. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will be the first automaker to lose the federal tax credit for electric cars," 12 July 2018 The greater issue would be where the minutes (or, more to the point, who) the minutes will come from. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Will détente work for Spoelstra and Whiteside?," 12 July 2018 Vukmir was asked by O'Donnell if Nicholson had made a point that politicians who know each other simply endorse their friends. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin U.S. Senate race: Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir trade verbal jabs on talk radio," 11 July 2018 Photo shoot pictures shared thousands of times on social media Indiana photographer Cindy Johnson's made her point. Amanda Kingsbury, Indianapolis Star, "Ugly. Chubby. Scarred. Hate is washed away in Indiana photographer's swimsuit shoot," 10 July 2018 The Marlins made a point to acquire athletic players that could play key positions in last week’s MLB draft. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "The Marlins may have already found a future starting outfielder in last year's draft," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That, the logical Vulcan would have pointed out, depends on wise choices. Houston Chronicle, "How to “live long and prosper”," 7 July 2018 Kittrie pointed to the example of Apple, which has its second-largest research-and-development office located in Israel, and also produces some parts of its iPhone in Israel. Sean Savage, Jewish Journal, "Ireland goes ahead with legislation to boycott products made in Israeli settlements," 12 July 2018 Customers point out its usefulness in an emergency as a great reason to buy. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Bear Motion's $19 solar-powered flashlight will also charge your phone in a pinch," 5 July 2018 Mehre said, pointing out that this isn’t just dairy. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Why Trump’s trade agenda might worsen America’s cheese glut," 4 July 2018 The chemicals found – perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid – are in firefighting foam and implicated in some types of cancer and thyroid effects, school officials said, pointing to several scientific studies. Martin E. Comas, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Brevard County schools to test drinking water at 13 campuses for chemical contamination," 3 July 2018 MacDonald, a 25-year-old left-handed shot, led all AHL defensemen in goals (20), points (55) and power-play goals (11) for New Jersey’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Panthers add to AHL depth by signing Paul Thompson, Jacob MacDonald," 2 July 2018 In Tokyo, people pointed and stared, but never in a negative way. Britney Young, Glamour, "Before GLOW, There Was Never a Character Who Truly Felt Like Me," 29 June 2018 Their parents noticed that while Kalea was in the hospital, Noah started taking naps every day, pointing to his head and walking a little strangely. Soumya Karlamangla, latimes.com, "Their daughter was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Two weeks later, their son was too," 28 June 2018

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


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


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

History and Etymology for point


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 2018

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



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 point : the main or most important idea of something that is said or written



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


\ˈpȯint \

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
pointy \ˈpȯin-tē \ adjective pointy shoes


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


\ˈpȯint \

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



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

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).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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