from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The use of standard marks and signs in writing and printing to separate words into sentences, clauses, and phrases in order to clarify meaning.
- n. The marks so used.
- n. The act or an instance of punctuating.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A set of symbols and marks which are used to clarify meaning in text by separating strings of words into clauses, phrases and sentences.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act or art of punctuating or pointing a writing or discourse; the art or mode of dividing literary composition into sentences, and members of a sentence, by means of points, so as to elucidate the author's meaning.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In writing and printing, a pointing off or separation of one part from another by arbitrary marks; specifically, the division of a composition into sentences and parts of sentences by the use of marks indicating intended differences of effect by differences of form.
- n. In zoology, the punctures of a punctate surface.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the use of certain marks to clarify meaning of written material by grouping words grammatically into sentences and clauses and phrases
- n. something that makes repeated and regular interruptions or divisions
- n. the marks used to clarify meaning by indicating separation of words into sentences and clauses and phrases
From Medieval Latin punctuatio ("a marking with points, a writing, agreement"), from punctuare ("to mark with points, settle"); see punctuate. (Wiktionary)