punctuation

noun
punc·​tu·​a·​tion | \ ˌpəŋk-chə-ˈwā-shən \

Definition of punctuation 

1 : the act of punctuating : the state of being punctuated
2 : the act or practice of inserting standardized marks or signs in written matter to clarify the meaning and separate structural units also : a system of punctuation
3 : something that contrasts or accentuates

Examples of punctuation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As others, including stylists Ann Caruso and Micaela Erlanger, surveyed the setting, a harpist and opera singer provided grandiose entertainment for a refined punctuation on the evening. Vogue, "Hotel Vivier Lands in New York and Opens in Style," 13 Dec. 2018 Analyzing everything from changes in personal style, arm freckle pattern, handwriting, and eye shape, to Avril’s choice of words and punctuation on Twitter, fans have built a serious case for some of kind of switcheroo. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "Avril Lavigne Called the Doppelgänger Conspiracy Theory About Her Death "So Weird"," 2 Nov. 2018 Hop on a world tour of photographer Gray Malin’s aerial images of sunbathers, with umbrellas dotting the sand like technicolor punctuation. Curbed Staff, Curbed, "18 enticing new books on design, cities, and more," 14 Dec. 2018 If students aren’t familiar with email protocol, provide a little coaching in advance on suitable greetings, punctuation and capitalization, says Joan K. Casey, president of Educational Advocates, a Brookline, Mass., consulting firm. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Survive College-Application Season With the Family in One Piece," 11 Dec. 2018 In fact, the only thing getting murdered here is the punctuation in this tweet, but because everyone loves to boycott, others are joining in. Fox News, "Gutfeld: Living in the media's lie," 18 Aug. 2018 One of those things has become the different use of punctuation in texting and social media. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "The way we text says a lot about our personality," 7 Nov. 2018 The evening ends with similar impact, as the full company’s arcing paths of running dancers circuit the stage, at times suggesting a whirlpool, before looping out as a whiplash of punctuation. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘The Six Brandenburg Concertos’ Review: Falling Short of Bach," 5 Oct. 2018 One amendment would have required that proper British English, complete with accurate punctuation, be a part of the legislation. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan House: Make English our official language," 22 Feb. 2018

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

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for punctuation

The first known use of punctuation was in 1593

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More Definitions for punctuation

punctuation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of punctuation

: the marks (such as periods and commas) in a piece of writing that make its meaning clear and that separate it into sentences, clauses, etc.

punctuation

noun
punc·​tu·​a·​tion | \ ˌpəŋk-chə-ˈwā-shən \

Kids Definition of punctuation

1 : the act of adding punctuation marks to writing
2 : a system of using punctuation marks

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More from Merriam-Webster on punctuation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with punctuation

Spanish Central: Translation of punctuation

Nglish: Translation of punctuation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of punctuation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about punctuation

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