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 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
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 point Richard Morin

Example Sentences

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
Date palms need water underground and dry heat above, and the summertime climate here, at the lowest point on earth, is perfect for this purpose, if unsuited for other purposes, like walking outdoors or thinking straight. Matti Friedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2022 Many, of course, grew up in the U.S. But illustrating Saah’s point, others were born in England or the Netherlands. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 17 Nov. 2022 At the halfway point and almost $300 million into the Detroit Institute of Arts’ tax millage from residents in the tri-county area, concerned members of Detroit’s art scene are questioning whether citizens have gotten their money’s worth. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 17 Nov. 2022 Nations of the world continue to squabble and finger-point, mostly producing lofty goals which are then unfulfilled for lack of commitment and cooperation. David Peterson, Arkansas Online, 17 Nov. 2022 And for those looking for an entry point into the outdoors, lists can be a good place to start. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022 But in any case, Leguizamo has a point: A lot of people do love the original Super Mario Bros. movie. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 17 Nov. 2022 Some of Weisselberg’s testimony appeared to underscore that point. Michael R. Sisak, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Nov. 2022 The awards show takes place this Sunday, November 20, at 8 p.m. ET, at which point the ceremony will begin to air, though stars will be trickling into the red carpet earlier in the evening. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 17 Nov. 2022
Verb
There are so many Christmas Bible verses that can point you to the miracle of Jesus’ birth, as well as timeless words spoken by the faithful, from past popes to the Christian author C.S. Lewis to modern-day voices like Amy Grant. Julia Ludlam, Country Living, 18 Nov. 2022 Ritter and Looney also can point to several numbers that support their argument. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 12 Nov. 2022 Close listeners can point to other tics and tricks. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 27 Oct. 2022 Growth slowed in Apple’s services business, an area some analysts say can point to slowing demand that may affect iPhone sales. Aaron Tilley, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2022 Can point guards Butler and Darrion Trammell be on the floor together? Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Oct. 2022 Citations—which can point to earlier cases, journal articles, or other sources—are the building blocks of legal precedent and, as more disputes over NFTs land in court, judges and lawyers will need a reliable way to find them. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, 20 Oct. 2022 Bridegrooms keep to themselves now, those who still have fingers can merely point soundlessly at something. Eugene Ostashevsky, The New York Review of Books, 19 Oct. 2022 Society can point its judgmental finger at several companies and ask for more, but the Demand will dictate the Supply and will (in theory) influence the regulators. Steve Tengler, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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 11frac::1/4 degrees between two such adjacent points
8
: a unit used in giving a value or score
scored fifteen points
9
: the action of pointing
beside the point in point of
: in the matter of
in point of fact
to the point
: pertinent
a remark that was quite to the point

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
in point or on point
: relevant to the legal issues at hand

More from Merriam-Webster on point

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