Middle English , from point Old French ( point “ a point, dot, full stop, period, speck, hole, stitch, point of time, moment, difficulty, etc. ”), from Latin ( punctum “ a point, puncture ”), prop. a hole punched in, substantive use of , perfect passive participle of punctus ( pungō “ I prick, punch ”). Displaced native Middle English ( ord “ point ”), from Old English ( ord “ point ”).
point ( plural ) points
discrete division of something.
element in a larger whole; a particular detail, thought, or quality. [from 13th c.]
The Congress debated the finer points of the bill. A particular
moment in an event or occurrence; a juncture. [from 13th c.]
There comesi 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.
( archaic ) Condition, state. [from 13th c.]
She was not feeling in good point. A topic of discussion or debate; a
proposition, a focus of conversation or consideration. [from 14th c.]
I made the point that we all had an interest to protect.
( obsolete ) The smallest quantity of something; a jot, a whit. [14th-17th c.]
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.
( obsolete ) A tiny amount of time; a moment. [14th-17th c.]
(Can we , Sir J. Davies, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
When time's first point begun / Made he all souls. A specific
location or place, seen as a spatial position. [from 14th c.]
We should meet at a pre-arranged point.
( 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. [from 14th c.] A
purpose or objective. [from 14th c.]
Since the decision has already been made, I see little point in further discussion. A
full stop or other terminal punctuation mark. [from 14th c.]
(Can we , Alexander Pope, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
Commas and points they set exactly right.
( 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.
( by extension ) A note; a tune.
(Can we , Sir Walter Scott, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
Sound the trumpet — not a levant, or a flourish, but a point of war. A distinguishing
quality or characteristic. [from 15th c.]
Logic isn't my strong point. Something tiny, as a pinprick; a very small mark.
[from 15th c.]
The stars showed as tiny points of yellow light.
( now only in phrases ) A tenth; formerly also a twelfth. [from 17th c.]
Possession is nine points of the law. Each of the
marks or strokes written above letters, especially in Semitic languages, to indicate vowels, stress etc. [from 17th c.]
( gaming ) A unit of scoring in a game or competition. [from 18th c.]
The one with the most points will win the game
( mathematics ) A decimal point (now especially when reading decimal fractions aloud). [from 18th c.]
("ten point five"; = ten and a half) 10.5
( economics ) A unit used to express differences in prices of stocks and shares. [from 19th c.]
( 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). [from 19th c.]
( Britain ) An electric power socket. [from 20th c.]
( 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! A
tip of an object. [from 14th c.]
Cut the skin with the point of the knife. Any projecting extremity of an object.
[from 14th c.] An object which has a sharp or tapering tip.
[from 14th c.]
His cowboy belt was studded with points.
( backgammon ) Each of the twelve triangular positions in either table of a backgammon board, on which the stones are played. [from 15th c.] A
peninsula or promontory. [from 15th c.] The position at the front or vanguard of an advancing force.
[from 16th c.]
2005, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945–2000 , Simon & Schuster,  , page 189: ISBN 978-0-7432-3011-6
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. Each of the main directions on a
compass, usually considered to be 32 in number; a direction. [from 16th c.]
( nautical ) The difference between two points of the compass.
to fall off a point
Pointedness of speech or writing; a penetrating or decisive quality of expression. [from 17th c.]
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. Lincoln, chapter 4, in : Mr. Pratt's Patients
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.
( rail transport , Britain , in the plural ) A railroad switch. [from 19th c.]
( usually in the plural ) An area of contrasting colour on an animal, especially a dog; a marking. [from 19th c.]
The point color of that cat was a deep, rich sable. A
tine or snag of an antler.
( fencing ) A movement executed with the sabre or foil.
( heraldry ) One of the several different parts of the escutcheon.
( nautical ) A short piece of cordage used in reefing sails.
( historical ) A string or lace used to tie together certain garments.
(Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?) Lace worked by the needle.
point de Venise; Brussels point
( US , slang , dated ) An item of private information; a hint; a tip; a pointer. The attitude assumed by a
pointer dog when he finds game.
The dog came to a point.
( falconry ) The perpendicular rising of a hawk over the place where its prey has gone into cover. The act of pointing, as of the
foot downward in certain dance positions.
( medicine , obsolete ) A vaccine point. In various sports, a position of a certain player, or, by extension, the player occupying that position.
( cricket ) A fielding position square of the wicket on the off side, between gully and cover. [from 19th c.]
( lacrosse , ice hockey ) The position of the player of each side who stands a short distance in front of the goalkeeper.
( baseball ) The position of the pitcher and catcher.
( hunting ) A spot to which a straight run is made; hence, a straight run from point to point; a cross-country run.
( location or place ) : , location , place , position spot
( in geometry ) : ord
( particular moment in an event or occurrence ) : , moment , ord time
( sharp tip ) : , end , ord tip
( arithmetic symbol ) : , spot decimal point ( name of the symbol; not used when reading decimal fractions aloud )
( opinion ) : , opinion , point of view , view viewpoint
( unit of measure of success or failure ) : mark ( in a competition )
( color of extremities of an animal ) :
Derived terms Edit
Related terms Edit
particular moment in an event or occurrence
archaic: condition, state
opinion which adds to the discussion
smallest quantity of something
geometry: zero-dimensional object
mark or stroke above letter
unit of scoring in a game or competition
arithmetic: decimal point (note: many languages use a comma (',') rather than a dot as a decimal point, and hence the translations into these languages reflect this.)
economics: unit of change
backgammon: one of the twelve triangular positions
position at the front or vanguard of an advancing force
area of contrasting color
cricket: fielding position between gully and cover
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
point ( third-person singular simple present , points present participle , pointing simple past and past participle ) pointed
( intransitive ) To extend the index finger in the direction of something in order to show where it is or to draw attention to it.
(Can we , Shakespeare, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
Now must the world point at poor Katharine.
(Can we , Dryden, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
Point at the tattered coat and ragged shoe.
2011 October 23, Becky Ashton, “ QPR 1 - 0 Chelsea”, in BBC Sport:
Luiz struggled with the movement of Helguson in the box, as he collected a long ball and the Spaniard barged him over, leaving referee Chris Foy little option but to point to the spot.
It's rude to point at other people.
( intransitive ) To draw attention to something or indicate a direction.
2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, “ ‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told”, in , volume 188, number 26, page 6: The Guardian Weekly
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.
The arrow of a compass points north
The skis were pointing uphill.
The arrow on the map points towards the entrance
( intransitive ) To face in a particular direction.
( transitive ) To direct toward an object; to aim.
to point a gun at a wolf, or a cannon at a fort 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
( 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.
( transitive, intransitive , masonry ) To repair mortar.
( 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.
( stone-cutting ) To cut, as a surface, with a pointed tool.
( transitive ) To direct or encourage (someone) in a particular direction.
If he asks for food, point him toward the refrigerator.
(Can we , Alexander Pope, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
Whosoever should be guided through his battles by Minerva, and pointed to every scene of them.
( transitive , mathematics ) To separate an integer from a decimal with a decimal point.
( transitive ) To mark with diacritics.
( dated ) To supply with punctuation marks; to punctuate.
to point a composition
( transitive , computing ) To direct the central processing unit to seek information at a certain location in memory.
( transitive , Internet ) To direct requests sent to a domain name to the IP address corresponding to that domain name.
( intransitive , nautical ) To sail close to the wind.
Bear off a little, we're pointing.
( intransitive , hunting ) To indicate the presence of game by a fixed and steady look, as certain hunting dogs do.
(Can we , John Gay, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
He treads with caution, and he points with fear.
( medicine , of an abscess ) To approximate to the surface; to head.
( obsolete ) To appoint.
(Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
( dated ) To give particular prominence to; to designate in a special manner; to point out.
(Can we , Charles Dickens, date this quote?) (Please provide the title of the work):
He points it, however, by no deviation from his straightforward manner of speech.
(Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)
Derived terms Edit
to extend finger
please add this translation if you can Polish:
wskazywać (pl) , impf wskazać (pl) pf Portuguese:
, apontar para indicar (pt) Russian:
ука́зывать (ru) ( impf ukázyvatʹ), указа́ть (ru) ( pf ukazátʹ) Scottish Gaelic:
kazati , impf pokazati pf Spanish:
indicar , (es) apuntar (es) Swahili:
pointi (sw) Swedish:
peka (sv) Thai:
please add this translation if you can Ukrainian:
пока́зувати (uk) ( impf pokázuvaty), показа́ти ( pf pokazáty), вка́зувати ( impf vkázuvaty), ( ука́зувати ukázuvaty), ( вказа́ти vkazáty), ( указа́ти ukazáty) Vietnamese:
please add this translation if you can
to face in a particular direction or some object
External links Edit Old French Edit