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point Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a geometric element that has position but no extension
    • a point is defined by its coordinates
  2. noun the precise location of something; a spatially limited location
    • she walked to a point where she could survey the whole street
  3. noun a brief version of the essential meaning of something
    • get to the point
    • he missed the point of the joke
    • life has lost its point
  4. noun an isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole
    item; detail.
    • several of the details are similar
    • a point of information
  5. noun a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process
    stage; degree; level.
    • a remarkable degree of frankness
    • at what stage are the social sciences?
  6. noun an instant of time
    point in time.
    • at that point I had to leave
  7. noun the object of an activity
    • what is the point of discussing it?
  8. noun a V shape
    tip; peak.
    • the cannibal's teeth were filed to sharp points
  9. noun a very small circular shape
    • a row of points
    • draw lines between the dots
  10. noun the unit of counting in scoring a game or contest
    • he scored 20 points in the first half
    • a touchdown counts 6 points
  11. noun a promontory extending out into a large body of water
    • they sailed south around the point
  12. noun a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list
    • he noticed an item in the New York Times
    • she had several items on her shopping list
    • the main point on the agenda was taken up first
  13. noun a style in speech or writing that arrests attention and has a penetrating or convincing quality or effect
  14. noun an outstanding characteristic
    • his acting was one of the high points of the movie
  15. noun sharp end
    • he stuck the point of the knife into a tree
    • he broke the point of his pencil
  16. noun any of 32 horizontal directions indicated on the card of a compass
    compass point.
    • he checked the point on his compass
  17. noun a linear unit used to measure the size of type; approximately 1/72 inch
  18. noun one percent of the total principal of a loan; it is paid at the time the loan is made and is independent of the interest on the loan
  19. noun a punctuation mark (.) placed at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a full stop or after abbreviations
    full point; full stop; stop; period.
    • in England they call a period a stop
  20. noun a V-shaped mark at one end of an arrow pointer
    • the point of the arrow was due north
  21. noun the dot at the left of a decimal fraction
    percentage point; decimal point.
  22. noun the property of a shape that tapers to a sharp tip
  23. noun a distinguishing or individuating characteristic
    • he knows my bad points as well as my good points
  24. noun the gun muzzle's direction
    • he held me up at the point of a gun
  25. noun a wall socket
    power point.
  26. noun a contact in the distributor; as the rotor turns its projecting arm contacts them and current flows to the spark plugs
    breaker point; distributor point.
  27. verb indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; either spatially or figuratively
    show; indicate; designate.
    • I showed the customer the glove section
    • He pointed to the empty parking space
    • he indicated his opponents
  28. verb be oriented
    • The weather vane points North
    • the dancers toes pointed outward
  29. verb direct into a position for use
    charge; level.
    • point a gun
    • He charged his weapon at me
  30. verb direct the course; determine the direction of travelling
    maneuver; head; direct; guide; channelise; manoeuvre; channelize; manoeuver; steer.
  31. verb be a signal for or a symptom of
    bespeak; indicate; signal; betoken.
    • These symptoms indicate a serious illness
    • Her behavior points to a severe neurosis
    • The economic indicators signal that the euro is undervalued
  32. verb sail close to the wind
  33. verb mark (Hebrew words) with diacritics
  34. verb mark with diacritics
    • point the letter
  35. verb mark (a psalm text) to indicate the points at which the music changes
  36. verb be positionable in a specified manner
    • The gun points with ease
  37. verb intend (something) to move towards a certain goal
    aim; place; target; direct.
    • He aimed his fists towards his opponent's face
    • criticism directed at her superior
    • direct your anger towards others, not towards yourself
  38. verb indicate the presence of (game) by standing and pointing with the muzzle
    • the dog pointed the dead duck
  39. verb give a point to
    sharpen; taper.
    • The candles are tapered
  40. verb repair the joints of bricks
    • point a chimney

Point transitive verb & intransitive verb
  1. To appoint. Obs. Spenser.
Point noun
F. point, and probably also pointe, L. punctum, puncta, fr. pungere, punctum, to prick. See Pungent, and cf. Puncto, Puncture.
  1. That which pricks or pierces; the sharp end of anything, esp. the sharp end of a piercing instrument, as a needle or a pin.
  2. An instrument which pricks or pierces, as a sort of needle used by engravers, etchers, lace workers, and others; also, a pointed cutting tool, as a stone cutter's point; -- called also pointer.
  3. Anything which tapers to a sharp, well-defined termination. Specifically: A small promontory or cape; a tract of land extending into the water beyond the common shore line.
  4. The mark made by the end of a sharp, piercing instrument, as a needle; a prick.
  5. An indefinitely small space; a mere spot indicated or supposed. Specifically: (Geom.) That which has neither parts nor magnitude; that which has position, but has neither length, breadth, nor thickness, -- sometimes conceived of as the limit of a line; that by the motion of which a line is conceived to be produced.
  6. An indivisible portion of time; a moment; an instant; hence, the verge.
    When time's first point begun Made he all souls. Sir J. Davies.
  7. A mark of punctuation; a character used to mark the divisions of a composition, or the pauses to be observed in reading, or to point off groups of figures, etc.; a stop, as a comma, a semicolon, and esp. a period; hence, figuratively, an end, or conclusion.
    And there a point, for ended is my tale. Chaucer.
    Commas and points they set exactly right. Pope.
  8. Whatever serves to mark progress, rank, or relative position, or to indicate a transition from one state or position to another, degree; step; stage; hence, position or condition attained; as, a point of elevation, or of depression; the stock fell off five points; he won by tenpoints. "A point of precedence." Selden. "Creeping on from point to point." Tennyson.
    A lord full fat and in good point. Chaucer.
  9. That which arrests attention, or indicates qualities or character; a salient feature; a characteristic; a peculiarity; hence, a particular; an item; a detail; as, the good or bad points of a man, a horse, a book, a story, etc.
    He told him, point for point, in short and plain. Chaucer.
    In point of religion and in point of honor. Bacon.
    Shalt thou dispute With Him the points of liberty ? Milton.
  10. Hence, the most prominent or important feature, as of an argument, discourse, etc.; the essential matter; esp., the proposition to be established; as, the point of an anecdote. "Here lies the point." Shak.
    They will hardly prove his point. Arbuthnot.
  11. A small matter; a trifle; a least consideration; a punctilio.
    This fellow doth not stand upon points. Shak.
    [He] cared not for God or man a point. Spenser.
  12. (Mus.) A dot or mark used to designate certain tones or time; as: (a) (Anc. Mus.) A dot or mark distinguishing or characterizing certain tones or styles; as, points of perfection, of augmentation, etc.; hence, a note; a tune. "Sound the trumpet -- not a levant, or a flourish, but a point of war." Sir W. Scott. (b) (Mod. Mus.) A dot placed at the right hand of a note, to raise its value, or prolong its time, by one half, as to make a whole note equal to three half notes, a half note equal to three quarter notes.
  13. (Astron.) A fixed conventional place for reference, or zero of reckoning, in the heavens, usually the intersection of two or more great circles of the sphere, and named specifically in each case according to the position intended; as, the equinoctial points; the solstitial points; the nodal points; vertical points, etc. See Equinoctial Nodal.
  14. (Her.) One of the several different parts of the escutcheon. See Escutcheon.
  15. (Naut.) (a) One of the points of the compass (see Points of the compass, below); also, the difference between two points of the compass; as, to fall off a point. (b) A short piece of cordage used in reefing sails. See Reef point, under Reef.
  16. (Anc. Costume) A a string or lace used to tie together certain parts of the dress. Sir W. Scott.
  17. Lace wrought the needle; as, point de Venise; Brussels point. See Point lace, below.
  18. pl. (Railways) A switch. Eng.
  19. An item of private information; a hint; a tip; a pointer. Cant, U. S.
  20. (Cricket) A fielder who is stationed on the off side, about twelve or fifteen yards from, and a little in advance of, the batsman.
  21. The attitude assumed by a pointer dog when he finds game; as, the dog came to a point. See Pointer.
  22. (Type Making) A standard unit of measure for the size of type bodies, being one twelfth of the thickness of pica type. See Point system of type, under Type.
  23. A tyne or snag of an antler.
  24. One of the spaces on a backgammon board.
  25. (Fencing) A movement executed with the saber or foil; as, tierce point. ✍ The word point is a general term, much used in the sciences, particularly in mathematics, mechanics, perspective, and physics, but generally either in the geometrical sense, or in that of degree, or condition of change, and with some accompanying descriptive or qualifying term, under which, in the vocabulary, the specific uses are explained; as, boiling point, carbon point, dry point, freezing point, melting point, vanishing point, etc.
Point transitive verb
Cf. F. pointer. See Point, n.
imperfect & past participle Pointed; present participle & verbal noun Pointing
  1. To give a point to; to sharpen; to cut, forge, grind, or file to an acute end; as, to point a dart, or a pencil. Used also figuratively; as, to point a moral.
  2. To direct toward an abject; to aim; as, to point a gun at a wolf, or a cannon at a fort.
  3. Hence, to direct the attention or notice of.
    Whosoever should be guided through his battles by Minerva, and pointed to every scene of them. Pope.
  4. To supply with punctuation marks; to punctuate; as, to point a composition.
  5. To mark (as Hebrew) with vowel points.
  6. To give particular prominence to; to designate in a special manner; to indicate, as if by pointing; as, the error was pointed out. Pope.
    He points it, however, by no deviation from his straightforward manner of speech. Dickens.
  7. To indicate or discover by a fixed look, as game.
  8. (Masonry) To fill up and finish the joints of (a wall), by introducing additional cement or mortar, and bringing it to a smooth surface.
  9. (Stone Cutting) To cut, as a surface, with a pointed tool.
Point intransitive verb
  1. To direct the point of something, as of a finger, for the purpose of designating an object, and attracting attention to it; -- with at.
    Now must the world point at poor Katharine. Shak.
    Point at the tattered coat and ragged shoe. Dryden.
  2. To indicate the presence of game by fixed and steady look, as certain hunting dogs do.
    He treads with caution, and he points with fear. Gay.
  3. (Med.) To approximate to the surface; to head; -- said of an abscess.

Webster 1913