\ ˈpȯint How to pronounce point (audio) \

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
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

Synonyms for point

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of point in a Sentence

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 Voters' feelings towards Mr. Trump are just 34% positive and 54% negative -- 20 points underwater -- it’s his lowest point in a year and a half. NBC News, 18 Sep. 2022 So yes, to your larger point, guest extortion is appalling and Miss Manners is getting tired of pointing this out. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2022 But the tiny home record is mixed so far, and De León told a story to illustrate his point. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2022 The meeting took place over Zoom, DeLong noted, proving his point. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 17 Sep. 2022 The Frodo journey is what felt like my point of access. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 16 Sep. 2022 My lowest point in the house was definitely finding out about all the things Kyle had said before. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 16 Sep. 2022 Its only point is to garner some attention from the Fox News set by portraying people who are merely seeking safety and economic security as violent criminals and traffickers. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 16 Sep. 2022 My point here is Hall won’t have this backfield handed to him. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Republicans often point to that when this is discussed. CBS News, 18 Sep. 2022 Everything would point to him having a chance to be on the team. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2022 In defense of their strategy, US officials point to Honduras, whose citizens voted out the corrupt and authoritarian government of Juan Orlando Hernández last year. Jody García, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2022 But his bid to build bridges has left some confused and his critics to point an accusatory finger, wrongly, suggesting a lack of commitment to being a Christian and to the Church of England. Robert Jobson, ABC News, 17 Sep. 2022 But dark sky researchers point out that these towers were far brighter than mere streetlights. Joshua Sokol, Scientific American, 16 Sep. 2022 Despite the panoply of challenges, security officials point to the fact that the queen’s funeral — dubbed Operation London Bridge — has been decades in the planning. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022 In their argument the attorneys point to a recent legal dispute between Rokita and Gov. Eric Holcomb. The Indianapolis Star, 16 Sep. 2022 Health officials and patient advocates point to existing disparities in vaccinations for a disease that has disproportionately spread among communities of color and stressed the need to reach more deeply into Black and Latino communities. Lena H. Sun And Dan Diamond, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Sep. 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.

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

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Time Traveler for point

Time Traveler

The first known use of point was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near point



point after touchdown

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Statistics for point

Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/point. Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for point


\ ˈpȯint How to pronounce point (audio) \

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


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 How to pronounce point (audio) \

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


intransitive verb

Medical Definition of point (Entry 2 of 2)

of an abscess
: to become distended with pus prior to breaking



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

More from Merriam-Webster on point

Nglish: Translation of point for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of point for Arabic Speakers

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