from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A sharp or tapered end.
  • noun An object having a sharp or tapered end.
  • noun A tapering extension of land projecting into water; a peninsula, cape, or promontory.
  • noun A mark formed by or as if by a sharp end.
  • noun A mark or dot used in printing or writing for punctuation, especially a period.
  • noun A decimal point.
  • noun Linguistics A vowel point.
  • noun One of the protruding marks used in certain methods of writing and printing for the blind.
  • noun A dimensionless geometric object having no properties except location.
  • noun An element in a geometrically described set.
  • noun A place or locality considered with regard to its position.
  • noun A narrowly particularized and localized position or place; a spot.
  • noun A specified degree, condition, or limit, as in a scale or course.
  • noun Any of the 32 equal divisions marked at the circumference of a mariner's compass card that indicate direction.
  • noun The interval of 11°15′ between any two adjacent markings.
  • noun A distinct condition or degree.
  • noun The interval of time immediately before a given occurrence; the verge.
  • noun A specific moment in time.
  • noun An objective or purpose to be reached or achieved, or one that is worth reaching or achieving.
  • noun The major idea or essential part of a concept or narrative.
  • noun A significant, outstanding, or effective idea, argument, or suggestion.
  • noun A separate, distinguishing item or element; a detail.
  • noun A quality or characteristic that is important or distinctive, especially a standard characteristic used to judge an animal.
  • noun A single unit, as in counting, rating, or measuring.
  • noun A unit of academic credit usually equal to one hour of class work per week during one semester.
  • noun A numerical unit of academic achievement equal to a letter grade.
  • noun Sports & Games A unit of scoring or counting.
  • noun A unit equal to one dollar, used to quote or state variations in the current prices of stocks or commodities.
  • noun A unit equal to one percent, used to quote or state interest rates or shares in gross profits.
  • noun One percent of the total principal of a loan, paid up front to the lender and considered separately from the interest.
  • noun Music A phrase, such as a fugue subject, in contrapuntal music.
  • noun Printing A unit of type size equal to 0.01384 inch, or approximately 1/72 of an inch.
  • noun A jeweler's unit of weight equal to 2 milligrams or 0.01 carat.
  • noun The act or an instance of pointing.
  • noun The stiff and attentive stance taken by a hunting dog.
  • noun A reconnaissance or patrol unit that moves ahead of an advance party or guard, or that follows a rear guard.
  • noun The position occupied by such a unit or guard.
  • noun Either of two positions in ice hockey just inside the offensive zone near the boards, usually assumed by defenders attempting to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
  • noun Basketball A position in the forecourt beyond the top of the key, usually taken by the point guard.
  • noun In women's lacrosse, a defensive player who marks the opponent playing nearest to the goal (the first home).


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, partly from Old French point, prick, mark, moment (from Vulgar Latin *punctum, from Latin pūnctum, from neuter past participle of pungere, to prick) and partly from Old French pointe, sharp end (from Vulgar Latin *puncta, from Latin pūncta, from feminine past participle of pungere, to prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English point, from 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 punctus, perfect passive participle of pungō ("I prick, punch"). Displaced native Middle English ord ("point"), from Old English ord ("point").


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  • Thom: And back to Chris Hedges 'point, and the larger point of is the planet melting down, are we melting down, and is it because of the way we think?

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  • BROWN: Go ahead, David, but to address this point about whether or not the players have leverage really or, as to James 'point earlier, would the owners actually decide, you know, if this turned into something, like, hey, we don't want to deal with this; who needs the controversy?

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  • AMY HOLMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: On Rowland's point and Bill 'point, I agree a lot of his speech was inspiring and the type of rhetoric we love as fellow Americans.

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  • They had this thing called 'point of information 'where they get up and say point of information, and the speaker can choose to accept or decline, and the WA side did it so often, I swear it was just like the speaker had to just keep waving his arm in a' sit down 'motion.

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  • Thus, while Zeno accepts Socrates 'point that his own arguments aim to show that there are not many things, he corrects Socrates' impression that, in arguing this point, he was just saying the same thing as Parmenides in a different form.

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  • BROWN: But to Lars 'point, to Lar's point, Gloria, let's play devil's advocate, why are we demonizing all lobbyists?

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  • "Point means the ear cut to a point, but is sometimes used for the 'fork' mark..."

    —W. Walter Gill, Manx Dialect Words and Phrases, 1934

    April 23, 2009

  • JM bought a pencil with an eraser at both ends and just can’t see the point!

    May 31, 2011