point

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See also: Point

English

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English poynt, from Old French point m (dot; minute amount), from Latin pūnctum (a hole punched in; a point, puncture), substantive use of pūnctus m, perfect passive participle of pungō (I prick, punch) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pewǵ- (prick, punch)); alternatively, from Old French pointe f (sharp tip), from Latin pūncta f (past participle). Displaced native Middle English ord (point), from Old English ord (point). Doublet of pointe, punctum, punt, and punto.

Noun

point (plural points)

  1. A small dot or mark.
    1. Something tiny, as a pinprick; a very small mark.
      The stars showed as tiny points of yellow light.
    2. A full stop or other terminal punctuation mark.
      • 1735, Alexander Pope, The Prologue to the Satires:
        Commas and points they set exactly right.
    3. (mathematics) A decimal point (now especially when reading decimal fractions aloud).
      10.5 is "ten point five", or ten and a half.
    4. Each of the marks or strokes written above letters, especially in Semitic languages, to indicate vowels, stress etc.
    5. (music) A dot or mark used to designate certain tones or time. In ancient music, it distinguished or characterized certain tones or styles (points of perfection, of augmentation, etc.). In modern music, it is placed on the right of a note to raise its value, or prolong its time, by one half.
    6. (by extension) A note; a tune.
    7. (mathematics, sciences) A zero-dimensional mathematical object representing a location in one or more dimensions; something considered to have position but no magnitude or direction.
  2. A small discrete division or individual feature of something.
    1. An individual element in a larger whole; a particular detail, thought, or quality.
      The Congress debated the finer points of the bill.
    2. A particular moment in an event or occurrence; a juncture.
      There comes a point in a marathon when some people give up.
      At this point in the meeting, I'd like to propose a new item for the agenda.
    3. (archaic) Condition, state.
      She was not feeling in good point.
    4. A topic of discussion or debate; a proposition.
      I made the point that we all had an interest to protect.
    5. (US, slang, dated) An item of private information; a hint; a tip; a pointer.
    6. A focus of conversation or consideration; the main idea.
      The point is that we should stay together, whatever happens.
    7. A purpose or objective, which makes something meaningful.
      Since the decision has already been made, I see little point in further discussion.
      • 1983 October 31, Genesis, “That's All”, in Genesis:
        But I love you / More than I wanted to / There's no point in trying to pretend
      • 2023, “What's the Point in Life”, in Killjoy, performed by Coach Party:
        We're all gonna die
        What's the point in life
        What's the point in life if we all die?
    8. (obsolete) The smallest quantity of something; a jot, a whit.
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.ii:
        full large of limbe and euery ioint / He was, and cared not for God or man a point.
    9. (obsolete) A tiny amount of time; a moment.
      • 1599, John Davies, “Of the Soule of Man and the Immortalitie Thereof”, in Nosce Teipsum:
        When time's first point begun / Made he all souls.
    10. A specific location or place, seen as a spatial position.
      We should meet at a pre-arranged point.
    11. A distinguishing quality or characteristic.
      Logic isn't my strong point.
    12. (in the plural, dated) The chief or excellent features.
      the points of a horse
      • 1931, Arnold Bennett, The Night Visitor and Other Stories, page 290:
        Knowledge was always useful, and he had frequently heard the words 'Great Portland Street' on the lips of his son, who regularly perused all the twelve automobilistic papers, and who was apparently the most learned pundit and inclusive encyclopædia ever created on the subject of petrol-driven vehicles, their prices, and their innumerable points.
    13. (usually in the plural) An area of contrasting colour on an animal, especially a dog; a marking.
      The point color of that cat was a deep, rich sable.
    14. (now only in phrases) A tenth; formerly also a twelfth.
      Possession is nine points of the law.
    15. Short for percentage point.
      • 2013, Louise Levison, Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents, page 67:
        We have yet to touch on the idea of stars and directors receiving gross points, which is a percentage of the studio's gross dollar (e.g., the $5.00 studio share of the total box office dollar in Table 4.1). Even if the points are paid on "first dollar," the reference is only to studio share.
    16. (sports, video games, board games) A unit of scoring in a game or competition.
      The one with the most points will win the game.
    17. (economics) A unit used to express differences in prices of stocks and shares.
    18. (typography) a unit of measure equal to 1/12 of a pica, or approximately 1/72 of an inch (exactly 1/72 of an inch in the digital era).
    19. (UK) An electric power socket.
    20. (navigation, nautical) A unit of bearing equal to one thirty-second of a circle, i.e. 11.25°.
      Ship ahoy, three points off the starboard bow!
    21. (UK) A unit of measure for rain, equal to 0.254 mm or 0.01 of an inch.
    22. (automotive, chiefly in the plural) Either of the two metal surfaces in a distributor which close or open to allow or prevent the flow of current through the ignition coil. There is usually a moving point, pushed by the distributor cam, and a fixed point, and they are built together as a unit.
  3. A sharp extremity.
    1. The sharp tip of an object.
      Cut the skin with the point of the knife.
    2. Any projecting extremity of an object.
    3. An object which has a sharp or tapering tip.
      His cowboy belt was studded with points.
      1. (archaeology) A spearhead or similar object hafted to a handle.
        • 2018, Tim Flannery, Europe: A Natural History:
          Solutrean points resemble the canines of the sabre-toothed cats.
      2. (medicine, obsolete) A vaccine point.
    4. (backgammon) Each of the twelve triangular positions in either table of a backgammon board, on which the stones are played.
    5. A peninsula or promontory.
    6. The position at the front or vanguard of an advancing force.
      • 2004, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home , Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 189:
        Willie Jones decided to become Kimani Jones, Black Panther, on the day his best friend, Otis Nicholson, stepped on a mine while walking point during a sweep in the central highlands.
      1. (by extension) An operational or public leadership position in a risky endeavor.
        • 2013, Erik Schubach, Music of the Soul, volume 1:
          "When do we pull the trigger?" he asked. I was quick to respond, "If Tammy get's Mrs. Wellington to agree, she'll call you in a couple hours. Then just pull out all stops. Tammy has point on this, I don't want to hear from you unless it's an all clear."
        • 2018 July 2, Paul Winfree, “Trump’s economic agenda is unfocused. Here’s how to fix it.”, in Washington Post:
          The president’s senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, has been point on immigration policy.
        • 2020 July 23, Gabe Lacques, “Dr. Anthony Fauci throws first pitch at Nationals-Yankees MLB opener”, in USA TODAY:
          He captained Regis High School’s 1958 squad, but now runs point on infectious diseases.
        • 2020 August 11, Michelle Karas, “Woodland Park School District plans for Aug. 25 reopening with multiple learning options”, in Pikes Peak Courier:
          Instead of one point-person taking all the parents’ questions, WPSD has “put together coaches and ambassadors to handle calls so one person doesn’t have to handle 2,500 calls,” Woolf said.
      2. Short for point man.
    7. Each of the main directions on a compass, usually considered to be 32 in number; a direction.
    8. (nautical) The difference between two points of the compass.
      to fall off a point
    9. Pointedness of speech or writing; a penetrating or decisive quality of expression.
      • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
        There was moreover a hint of the duchess in the infinite point with which, as she felt, she exclaimed: "And this is what you call coming often?"
      • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter IV, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
        I told him about everything I could think of; and what I couldn't think of he did. He asked about six questions during my yarn, but every question had a point to it. At the end he bowed and thanked me once more. As a thanker he was main-truck high; I never see anybody so polite.
    10. (rail transport, UK, in the plural) A railroad switch.
    11. A tine or snag of an antler.
    12. (heraldry) One of the "corners" of the escutcheon: the base (bottom center) unless a qualifier is added (point dexter, point dexter base, point sinister, point sinister base), generally when separately tinctured. (Compare terrace, point champaine, enté en point.)
      This is sometimes blazoned argent, four points gules; otherwise, it is vêtu.
    13. (heraldry, by extension) An ordinary similar to a pile (but sometimes shorter), extending upward from the base. (Often termed a point pointed.)
      • 1828, William Berry, Encyclopaedia Heraldica Or Complete Dictionary of Heraldry:
        The point, according to Edmondson, (meaning the point pointed,) is an ordinary somewhat resembling the pile, issuing from the base, as in Plate VII. fig. 24, and is sometimes termed a base point pointed, but the word base is superfluous, as that is the proper place of the point; []
  4. The act of pointing.
    1. The act of pointing, as of the foot downward in certain dance positions.
    2. The gesture of extending the index finger in a direction in order to indicate something.
      • 2005, Marc Marschark, Patricia Elizabeth Spencer, Oxford handbook of deaf studies, language, and education:
        [] DCDP children are exposed to more points and gesturelike signs in their linguistic environment []
    3. The attitude assumed by a pointer dog when he finds game.
      The dog came to a point.
    4. (falconry) The perpendicular rising of a hawk over the place where its prey has gone into cover.
    5. (fencing) A movement executed with the sabre or foil.
      tierce point
  5. (nautical) A short piece of cordage used in reefing sails.
  6. (historical) A string or lace used to tie together certain garments.
  7. Lace worked by the needle.
    point de Venise; Brussels point
  8. In various sports, a position of a certain player, or, by extension, the player occupying that position.
    1. (cricket) A fielding position square of the wicket on the off side, between gully and cover.
    2. (lacrosse, ice hockey) The position of the player of each side who stands a short distance in front of the goalkeeper.
    3. (baseball) The position of the pitcher and catcher.
    4. (hunting) A spot to which a straight run is made; hence, a straight run from point to point; a cross-country run.
Synonyms
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Terms derived from point (noun) without hyponyms
"Point" as a part of place names
Descendants
  • Cantonese: point
  • Indonesian: poin
  • Japanese: ポイント (pointo)
  • Korean: 포인트 (pointeu)
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also
References

Etymology 2

From Middle English pointen, poynten, from Old French pointier, pointer, poynter, from point from Latin pūnctum.

Verb

point (third-person singular simple present points, present participle pointing, simple past and past participle pointed)

  1. (intransitive) To extend the index finger in the direction of something in order to show where it is or to draw attention to it.
    It's rude to point at other people.
  2. (intransitive) To draw attention to something or indicate a direction.
    The arrow of a compass points north
    The skis were pointing uphill.
    The arrow on the map points towards the entrance
    • 2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, “‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6:
      In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
  3. (intransitive) To face in a particular direction.
  4. (transitive, sometimes figurative) To direct toward an object; to aim.
    to point a gun at a wolf, or a cannon at a fort
    • 1853, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Parliamentary Papers, volume 11, page 267:
      Mr. Fitzsimons pointed my attention to an outside car on which was written, "Take warning," or something of that kind, and he pointed that out to me, and drew my attention to it, as a thing likely to intimidate []
  5. To give a point to; to sharpen; to cut, forge, grind, or file to an acute end.
    to point a dart, a pencil, or (figuratively) a moral
  6. (intransitive) To indicate a probability of something.
    • 2011 December 21, Helen Pidd, “Europeans migrate south as continent drifts deeper into crisis”, in the Guardian:
      Tens of thousands of Portuguese, Greek and Irish people have left their homelands this year, many heading for the southern hemisphere. Anecdotal evidence points to the same happening in Spain and Italy.
  7. (transitive, intransitive, masonry) To repair mortar.
  8. (transitive, 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.
    • 2020 May 20, Philip Haigh, “Ribblehead: at the heart of the S&C's survival and its revival: Ribblehead Viaduct repairs”, in Rail, page 27:
      Damaged stone will be removed, and the new stone installed and pointed to ensure a comprehensive match to maintain the integrity of the structure.
  10. (transitive) To direct or encourage (someone) in a particular direction.
    If he asks for food, point him toward the refrigerator.
  11. (transitive, mathematics) To separate an integer from a decimal with a decimal point.
  12. (transitive) To mark with diacritics.
  13. (dated) To supply with punctuation marks; to punctuate.
    to point a composition
  14. (transitive, computing) To direct the central processing unit to seek information at a certain location in memory.
  15. (transitive, Internet) To direct requests sent to a domain name to the IP address corresponding to that domain name.
  16. (intransitive, nautical) To sail close to the wind.
    Bear off a little, we're pointing.
  17. (intransitive, hunting) To indicate the presence of game by a fixed and steady look, as certain hunting dogs do.
    • 1713, John Gay, The Rural Sports:
      He treads with caution, and he points with fear.
  18. (medicine, of an abscess) To approximate to the surface; to head.
  19. (dated) To give point to (something said or done); to give particular prominence or force to.
    • 1852 March – 1853 September, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, London: Bradbury and Evans, , published 1853, →OCLC:
      He points it, however, by no deviation from his straightforward manner of speech.
    • 1924, EM Forster, A Passage to India, Penguin, published 2005, page 85:
      ‘Oh, it is the great defect in our Indian character!’ – and, as if to point his criticism, the lights of the Civil Station appeared on a rise to the right.
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 3

From Middle English pointen, poynten, by apheresis of apointen, appointen, appoynten. See appoint.

Verb

point (third-person singular simple present points, present participle pointing, simple past and past participle pointed)

  1. (obsolete) To appoint.

References

  1. ^ pointen, v.(1).”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2018, retrieved 20 January 2020.
  2. ^ pointen, v.(2).”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2018, retrieved 20 January 2020.

Further reading

Anagrams

Chinese

Etymology

From English point.

Pronunciation


Noun

point (Hong Kong Cantonese)

  1. point (of an argument); main idea; argument
    point道理 [Cantonese, trad.]
    point道理 [Cantonese, simp.]
    keoi5 go3 pon1 dou1 gei2 jau5 dou6 lei5
    His idea makes some sense
    point [Cantonese, trad.]
    point [Cantonese, simp.]
    keoi5 gong2 je5 dou1 mou5 pon1 ge2!
    What he is saying does not have any point!
  2. levels in the wage scale
    point [Cantonese]  ―  tiu3 pon1   ―  to increase in salary by moving up the wage scale

Danish

Etymology

From French point, from Latin pūnctum, the neuter of the participle pūnctus (pointed). The French word is also borrowed to pointe, and the Latin word is borrowed to punkt (dot) and punktum (full stop). See also punktere.

Pronunciation

Noun

point

  1. a point (in a game)

Declension

See also

Further reading

French

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Inherited from Middle French poinct (with orthography modified to reflect the Latin etymology), from Old French point, from Latin punctum.

Noun

point m (plural points)

  1. point (small mark)
  2. (sports, games) point
  3. full stop, period (punctuation mark)
  4. (knitting) stitch pattern
  5. dot (Morse code symbol)
Derived terms
Descendants

Adverb

point

  1. (literary, dialectal, usually with "ne") not
    Synonym: pas (contemporary French)
    Ne craignez pointFear not

Etymology 2

Inherited from Old French point, from Latin punctus.

Participle

point (feminine pointe, masculine plural points, feminine plural pointes)

  1. past participle of poindre

Etymology 3

From Latin pungit.

Verb

point

  1. third-person singular present indicative of poindre

Further reading

Anagrams

Manx

Etymology

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Verb

point (verbal noun pointeil, past participle pointit)

  1. appoint

Mutation

Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
point phoint boint
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Norman

Etymology

From Old French point, from Latin punctum.

Noun

point m (plural points)

  1. (Jersey) full stop, period (punctuation mark)

Derived terms

Old French

Etymology 1

From Latin punctum.

Noun

point oblique singularm (oblique plural poinz or pointz, nominative singular poinz or pointz, nominative plural point)

  1. a sting; a prick
  2. moment; time
  3. (on a die) dot
  4. small amount

Adverb

point

  1. a little
  2. (with ne) not (indicates negation)

Descendants

Etymology 2

From Latin punctus.

Verb

point

  1. past participle of poindre
Descendants

Polish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /pwɛnt/
  • Rhymes: -ɛnt
  • Syllabification: point

Noun

point f pl

  1. genitive plural of pointa

Portuguese

Etymology

Unadapted borrowing from English point.

Pronunciation

Noun

point m (plural points)

  1. (Brazil, slang) a location where members of a group usually meet