punctuate

play
verb punc·tu·ate \ ˈpəŋk-chə-ˌwāt \

Definition of punctuate

punctuated; punctuating
transitive verb
1 :to mark or divide (written matter) with punctuation marks
2 :to break into or interrupt at intervals
  • the steady click of her needles punctuated the silence
  • —Edith Wharton
intransitive verb
:to use punctuation marks

punctuator

play \-ˌwā-tər\ noun

Examples of punctuate in a Sentence

  1. Do you know how to punctuate a sentence correctly?

  2. punctuated each and every word of his denial with a pound of his fist on the table

Recent Examples of punctuate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'punctuate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of punctuate

Medieval Latin punctuatus, past participle of punctuare to point, provide with punctuation marks, from Latin punctus point


PUNCTUATE Defined for English Language Learners

punctuate

play
verb

Definition of punctuate for English Language Learners

  • : to use punctuation marks in (a piece of writing)

  • : to interrupt or occur in (something) repeatedly


PUNCTUATE Defined for Kids

punctuate

play
verb punc·tu·ate \ ˈpəŋk-chə-ˌwāt \

Definition of punctuate for Students

punctuated; punctuating
1 :to add punctuation marks to writing
2 :to interrupt or occur in repeatedly
  • His speech was punctuated by applause.
3 :to give emphasis to
  • She kept talking, using her hands sometimes to punctuate a point.
  • —Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up punctuate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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