punc·​tu·​al | \ ˈpəŋk-chə-wəl How to pronounce punctual (audio) , -chəl \

Definition of punctual

: being on time : prompt

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Other Words from punctual

punctuality \ ˌpəŋk-​chə-​ˈwa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce punctual (audio) \ noun
punctually \ ˈpəŋk-​chə-​wə-​lē How to pronounce punctual (audio) , -​chə-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for punctual



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Did You Know?

The original meaning of punctual described a puncture made by a surgeon. The word has meant lots of other things through the centuries, usually involving being precise about small points. And today punctuality is all about time; a punctual train or a punctual payment or a punctual person shows up "on the dot".

Examples of punctual in a Sentence

the punctual delivery of the daily mail
Recent Examples on the Web On the other side of the spectrum, the Hawaiian Airlines Network was the most punctual, with flights arriving on time 87.5% of the time. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Even in a pandemic, there were flight delays. These airlines fared best and worst," 3 Mar. 2021 In the halls of W.S. Lafargue Elementary School, Coulibaly was known as a punctual, soft-spoken instructor who rarely missed a day of class. Katy Reckdahl, NOLA.com, "This Louisiana teacher of 19 years is locked up now and facing deportation," 3 Jan. 2021 Patricia, 78, was punctual, no-nonsense and to the point, her family said. Washington Post, "This couple relaxed their covid-19 stance and died from it. They wished others would take it seriously.," 1 Dec. 2020 With a different virtual patient scheduled every 20 minutes, the doctor is much more punctual than in her days at the clinic, where an assistant could warn an impatient patient that the physician is running late. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "After 41 years of practice, Mendota Heights doctor finds renewed purpose in virtual medicine," 27 Nov. 2020 This is a day to go out of your way to be punctual and professional. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 21, 2020: Happy birthday Jena Malone; Aquarius, take the high road," 21 Nov. 2020 Yet, during a year that feels both frozen in time and flying by faster than any before it, the show, which looks at the relationship between fashion and time through designer ensembles, feels perfectly punctual. Irina Grechko, refinery29.com, "According To The Met’s New Exhibit, The Clock Is Ticking For The Fashion Industry," 30 Oct. 2020 Marlinspike is punctual, affable, and unassuming; even his gait is mild. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Taking Back Our Privacy," 19 Oct. 2020 But for several other weeks this summer, the Northland District ranked in the bottom quarter nationally for punctual first-class mail deliveries. Matt Mckinney, Star Tribune, "Despite late deliveries this summer, local postal officials confident they will handle rush of mailed election ballots," 10 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punctual.' 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 punctual

1669, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for punctual

Middle English, having a sharp point, from Medieval Latin punctualis of a point, from Latin punctus pricking, point, from pungere to prick — more at pungent

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Time Traveler for punctual

Time Traveler

The first known use of punctual was in 1669

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Statistics for punctual

Last Updated

12 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Punctual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punctual. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for punctual



English Language Learners Definition of punctual

: arriving or doing something at the expected or planned time


punc·​tu·​al | \ ˈpəŋk-chə-wəl How to pronounce punctual (audio) \

Kids Definition of punctual

: arriving or acting at the right time : not late

Other Words from punctual

puntually adverb

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Comments on punctual

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