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

  • transitive v. To provide (a text) with punctuation marks.
  • transitive v. To interrupt periodically: "lectures punctuated by questions and discussions” ( Gilbert Highet). "[There is] a great emptiness in America's West punctuated by Air Force bases” ( Alfred Kazin).
  • transitive v. To stress or emphasize.
  • intransitive v. To use punctuation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to add punctuation to
  • v. to add or to interrupt at regular intervals
  • v. to emphasize, to stress

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To mark with points; to separate into sentences, clauses, etc., by points or stops which mark the proper pauses in expressing the meaning.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In writing and printing, to mark with points in some significant manner; specifically, to divide into sentences and parts of sentences by the conventional signs called points or marks of punctuation: as, to punctuate one's letters carefully. See punctuation.
  • Figuratively, to emphasize by some significant or forcible action; enforce the important parts or points of in some special manner: as, to punctuate one's remarks by gestures.
  • In entomology, same as punctured.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. interrupt periodically
  • v. insert punctuation marks into
  • v. to stress, single out as important


Medieval Latin pūnctuāre, pūnctuāt-, from Latin pūnctum, point, from neuter past participle of pungere, to prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin punctuare ("to mark with points"), from Latin punctus, perfect passive participle of pungō ("I prick, punch"); see point, and compare punch and punctate. (Wiktionary)



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