Definition of point in English:



  • 1The tapered, sharp end of a tool, weapon, or other object:

    ‘the point of his dagger’
    ‘a pencil point’
    • ‘Nothing with a sharp point was allowed within a mile of the young girl as she grew up.’
    • ‘The blade shined as if it had never been used, and the point was as sharp as the day it was made.’
    • ‘Needle points are specifically designed to pierce a particular fabric type.’
    • ‘I dropped my tool on its point, which blunted it, so the left side is less worked and detailed than the right side.’
    • ‘The point of a sharp knife should feel little resistance when pushed into the potato.’
    • ‘The hooks have very sharp points which is just what one needs to make sure the hooks go in and stay in.’
    • ‘Wig pins are small and usually have a sharp point at one end to help the pins penetrate the wig piece.’
    • ‘Kim winced as the sharp point of the needle pierced the vein in her arm.’
    • ‘At the far end of these instruments is a screw or a sharp point for piercing right through the cork.’
    • ‘The defendant claimed his father had had a carving knife and had become aggressive and he had felt the point of the weapon in his back.’
    • ‘It takes almost no force for one of these points or edges to cause a laceration.’
    • ‘Small children and sharp points don't go together.’
    • ‘A lieutenant stood at the right of the line, the point of his sword upon the ground, his left hand resting upon his right.’
    • ‘A shattered window contains thousands of incredibly sharp edges and dagger-like points.’
    • ‘While writing, focus on the point of the pen and move your eyes with its movements.’
    • ‘The man abruptly stopped as he felt the sharp point of an arrow in the back of his neck.’
    • ‘With the point of a sharp knife, make four or five slits in each drumstick.’
    • ‘The needle was roughly rounded and well-pointed, and the point was still quite sharp.’
    • ‘In a blink of an eye, the point of her blade was protruding from the back of his armor.’
    • ‘You will experience a pain similar to if you had just stepped on the point of an icepick with your heel.’
    tip, sharp end, tapered end, end, extremity
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    1. 1.1Archaeology A pointed flake or blade, especially one that has been worked.
      • ‘At Teviec in Brittany a male burial had two flint points embedded in his spine.’
      • ‘Four specimens appear to be products of failed attempts to create points from very thin flakes.’
      • ‘The rich material culture includes flint and bone projectile points, fishing equipment, and decorated bone and stone.’
    2. 1.2Ballet
      another term for pointe
      • ‘Ballet's use of point shoes is not intended to cripple the dancer's feet.’
      • ‘Dressed in a tutu, she dances on point.’
      • ‘He's astonished by the way dancers on point don't wobble.’
    3. 1.3Boxing The tip of a person's chin as a spot for a blow:
      ‘Andrews caught him on the point’
      • ‘I caught him on the point and knocked him backward.’
      • ‘She concentrated hard to gather her wits, and when Frank paused, slammed a right uppercut to the point of his chin.’
      • ‘Harry hit him on the point of his chin.’
    4. 1.4 The prong of a deer's antler:
      ‘a fine buck of eight points’
      • ‘His antlers have seven points.’
      • ‘There is a stuffed deer in the Nature House at the Nature Park, a small buck with two points on each antler.’
      • ‘Since then the head has been examined by experts and is found to have antlers with 16 points.’
      • ‘Eight-point bucks almost certainly will remain plentiful.’
  • 2A dot or other punctuation mark, in particular a full stop.

    • ‘Every punctuation point had better be right.’
    • ‘Footnote numbering in the text should be placed after the full point at the end of a sentence.’
    • ‘When elements are removed from inside a word or phrase, but nothing is taken from the end, a full point is often omitted.’
    1. 2.1 A decimal point:
      ‘fifty-five point nine’
      • ‘He sold off his company at the peak of the boom, and cashed out for a reported three point five billion dollars.’
      • ‘Ninety-nine point nine percent of the people were interested and enthusiastic and the attitude was very favourable.’
      • ‘I undid my seat belt and hopped out of the car in my usual two point nine seconds.’
      • ‘Six point nine percent, that's a nine-year high.’
      • ‘All our households across the country use about one point eight trillion litres of water.’
    2. 2.2 A dot or small stroke used in Semitic languages to indicate vowels or distinguish particular consonants.
      • ‘Before the Babylonian system of punctuation was discovered, it was believed that the Tiberian system of vowel points was the only one the Jews had ever invented.’
      • ‘The vowel is sometimes written; and at others it is expressed by the point above the consonant.’
    3. 2.3 A very small dot or mark:
      ‘the sky was studded with points of light’
      • ‘Who among us wouldn't want to be compared to one of these mysterious, attractive points of light?’
      • ‘There are new frontiers in the thousands of points of light in the heavens above our precious blue planet.’
      • ‘The cut surface of the rind is of a moist delicate pink colour and is studded with small yellow points formed by the drops of exuding juice.’
      • ‘The points of light are collected and used to reconstruct a 3D digital image.’
      • ‘It was a gorgeous evening, and the city shone from a million points of light.’
      • ‘Thru a small telescope you may be able to make out the fact that it is actually a disk and not a point of light.’
      • ‘Millions of points of light scatter across the sky and are reflected in the waters below.’
      • ‘Most wonderfully, he knew that the points of light were stars, and he knew how far away they were.’
      • ‘From that terracing came a continual glinting of points of light as innumerable cigarettes were lit.’
      • ‘She glanced up at the sky studded with the millions of tiny points of light not seen from the city and marveled, as always, at the vastness.’
      • ‘This was made of stone, beneath a sky dark and featureless except for faint points of light that might be stars.’
      • ‘For example, the human eye should be able to tell apart two points of light an inch apart at a distance of about a 100 metres.’
      • ‘Even with a good pair of binoculars, stars still appear as points of light.’
      • ‘The first displays were very primitive using only points of light created in the laboratory.’
      • ‘The feeble point of light to the right of the star is the newly found cold companion.’
      • ‘Small yellow dots, which look like points of light, appear on the black ground.’
      • ‘When he closed his eyes he could see two points of light, far away for now but rushing towards him nonetheless.’
      • ‘Sparkling drops of dew were bright points of light upon her skin.’
      • ‘Five points of light appeared, all focused around each one of his finger tips.’
      • ‘The trusty chandelier is also an ideal way to increase the number of points of light.’
      pinpoint, dot, spot, speck, fleck, mark
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  • 3A particular spot, place, or position in an area or on a map, object, or surface:

    ‘turn left at the point where you see a sign to Appleford’
    ‘the furthermost point of the gallery’
    ‘the check-in point’
    • ‘Our children need and deserve an official and recognisable safe crossing point along this road.’
    • ‘In the park's early days, pine trees were planted on the higher points of the park.’
    • ‘Soldiers were positioned at strategic points in the city and at election rallies where huge crowds gathered.’
    • ‘People can hand in their unused glasses and sunglasses at a number of collection points in the area.’
    • ‘It said that the investigators conducted 783 tests at screening points and other areas of airport security.’
    • ‘Information is gathered from a multitude of sources including surface observation points, ships, buoys and aircraft.’
    • ‘The council is also proposing to close a gap in a nearby pedestrian guardrail to stop people crossing at a dangerous point.’
    • ‘Using your fingers to apply pressure to specific points on your body can ease symptoms.’
    • ‘Our facility has been designated as a drop off point for relief supplies.’
    • ‘Acupuncture treatment is administered at specific points or sites on the body.’
    • ‘The site is located at a point between two major river systems, the Mersey and Dee, with open access to the Irish Sea.’
    • ‘Being one of the highest points in the area, it is considered to be a sacred grove.’
    • ‘Cleeve Hill is the highest point on the Cotswold hills at about 300 m. above sea level.’
    • ‘Everywhere we went we saw collection points for money and provisions.’
    • ‘These bridges are long because they cross rivers at the point where they empty into the sea.’
    • ‘However, enhanced controls at points of entry into the country continue to remain in place.’
    • ‘Pedestrians should also remember to use the official crossing points at busy junctions.’
    • ‘By sunset, she'd looped back to one of the highest points in the park, not far from where we'd started.’
    • ‘It was a mountainous country but also one with several points of easy entry for English armies and settlers.’
    • ‘Most of the smuggling cases detected previously at border control points had involved lorries instead of coaches.’
    place, position, location, site, spot, area, locality, locale
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    1. 3.1 A particular moment in time or stage in a process:
      ‘from this point onwards the teacher was completely won over’
      • ‘The road was closed for three hours at one point and only reopened fully at midnight.’
      • ‘Not until the midway point did the president acknowledge that he had an opponent in the coming election.’
      • ‘Doctors said she probably died at the point of going limp in the pool.’
      • ‘There are three points in this process at which learning can potentially play a role.’
      • ‘Up until this point almost all swords were heavy and required more strength than skill to maneuver.’
      • ‘At some point during that long night they took a decision - and headed north.’
      • ‘There comes a point in the refurbishment process where the law of diminishing returns come into play.’
      • ‘He got winded at a couple of points in the fight.’
      • ‘At what point does a good idea become compromised by the thought of how best to make money?’
      • ‘From the point of conception onwards, parents are now viewed as a risk factor in their children's lives.’
      • ‘He levelled the game at the midway point in the second half.’
      • ‘I think the lowest point was when the insurance company sent in forensics experts to check if the fire was arson.’
      • ‘Additional percussion is also provided by the chorus which claps specific patterns at certain points in the music.’
      • ‘At one point in the night we went for over forty minutes without a single customer.’
      • ‘At some point, the decision about whether or not to stay in acting has to be faced.’
      • ‘Of particular note is the visual montage that comes at the halfway point of the film.’
      • ‘Up until this point, my main focus had been on getting to the event and getting there on time.’
      • ‘We haven't even reached the halfway point in the season yet and you're tipping us for disaster.’
      • ‘Many people do not notice a problem with their vision until this point, or assume a poor vision is part of getting older.’
      • ‘This type of system is in common usage worldwide but up until this point had not been available in Ireland, the bank said.’
      time, stage, juncture, period, phase
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    2. 3.2usually the point The critical or decisive moment:
      ‘when it came to the point he would probably do what was expected of him’
      • ‘When it came to the point, little economic or social and no military action was taken.’
      • ‘He talks and talks, but when it comes to the point he either does nothing or he's just evasive.’
      • ‘Conversation ceases to resolve the internal contention between characters, words fail and the conflict comes to the point.’
      decisive moment, critical moment, moment of truth, point of no return, crunch, crux, zero hour
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    3. 3.3the point of The verge or brink of (doing or being something):
      ‘she was on the point of leaving’
      • ‘It is patently obvious that the health service is on the point of collapse.’
      • ‘If I read this latest letter correctly, I am on the point of losing the right to drive.’
      • ‘As he stood there on the point of committing suicide, he felt a hand on his arm.’
      • ‘The police had now regrouped and were on the point of pinning down the huge bald man.’
      • ‘On the point of giving up, I noticed a small dust covered bottle at the back of a drawer which had a few bright purple tablets in it.’
      • ‘I was on the point of approaching but I didn't have the courage in case he told me to clear off.’
      • ‘It was obvious he was on the point of collapse.’
      • ‘The national companies were in financial crisis and the ballet was on the point of closure.’
      • ‘But often the outcry over the loss of a rural post office only starts when it has closed or is on the point of closing.’
      • ‘Relief was clear because the tour had seemed on the point of foundering.’
      • ‘His feet were blistered and his legs were on the point of collapse.’
      • ‘He was not on the point of death, nor even in the process of dying.’
      • ‘The club last night appeared to be on the point of calling in the receivers.’
      • ‘They were on the point of collapse from thirst.’
      • ‘This had a serious impact on morale and many teachers were on the point of leaving their jobs.’
      • ‘The other motorist slowed down just when she was on the point of braking, allowing her the right of way.’
      • ‘Once-common bird species like the skylark and lapwing are on the point of disappearing.’
      • ‘Sometimes, however, you only realise how valuable an object is when you are on the point of losing it.’
      • ‘They'll take a photo of us looking in different directions and try to make out that we're on the point of breaking up.’
      • ‘I was on the point of leaving when the postman called bearing an invoice from the bicycle suppliers.’
      just about to, on the verge of, about to, going to, on the brink of, ready to, all set to
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    4. 3.4[usually with modifier] A stage or level at which a change of state occurs:
      ‘local kennels are full to bursting point’
      • ‘The company appears to be on target to hit a cashflow break-even point by the end of the year.’
      • ‘The company has slipped back into the red just three months after crowing that it had reached break-even point.’
      • ‘Boil until setting point is reached and then preserve in small sterilised jars.’
      • ‘You just want to lie and luxuriate in it, to soak up the sound until you reach bursting point.’
      • ‘The breakeven point in our budget though looks remarkably close to the market value of my South London home.’
      • ‘The lads were at mutiny point by now and we reached the top of the climb not a moment too soon.’
      • ‘The Festival reaches climax point on Sunday with something for all the family.’
      level, degree, stage, pitch, extent, height
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    5. 3.5British [with modifier] A socket in a wall for connecting a device to an electrical supply or communications network:
      ‘a power point’
      • ‘A fast wireless access point means you can connect your laptop to the machine and roam around the house.’
      • ‘One of the garages has automatic doors while both are heated and fitted with power points.’
      • ‘All waste is recycled, within reason, and even cars can be recharged at power points dotted around the complex.’
      • ‘This meant that there was electric light in the kitchen, but no power point for a radio.’
      • ‘Power points are in place and there are internet connections in all rooms.’
      • ‘The larger room has a television point and plenty of space for a study desk or additional storage units.’
      • ‘Mounting your access point on the wall, away from your desktop, will improve your network's speed.’
      • ‘There is also a purpose-built storage shed with power points and wall units.’
      • ‘The rear garden is in lawn and has a timber shed with electrical points and plumbing for utilities.’
      • ‘Each apartment has a balcony or a patio with decking, as well as a basement storage compartment with electrical points.’
      • ‘There is also a potting shed and a large workshop with electric points.’
      • ‘Upstairs, all three bedrooms have television points or telephone facilities.’
      • ‘All units will be wired for an alarm and have telephone and television points in the lounge and master bedroom.’
      • ‘I keep my freezer and my fridge out there, trailing extension leads to the power points in the kitchen.’
      • ‘There is gas-fired central heating throughout and television and telephone points in all rooms.’
      • ‘It has built-in double wardrobes as well as telephone and television points.’
      • ‘The drawings also show electrical points for television equipment, speakers and telephones in the pool surround.’
      • ‘Instead, electrical plug points have been helpfully provided in every compartment.’
      • ‘You should always seek professional advice before having an outside power point installed.’
      • ‘We were in a metal box with gas bottles, connected to an electrical hook-up point.’
    6. 3.6 (in geometry) something having position but not spatial extent, magnitude, dimension, or direction, for example the intersection of two lines.
      • ‘Every point on these lines has the same properties as the end-point on the N border.’
      • ‘By joining the points of intersection between price and amount of X consumed at that price, we trace out a demand curve.’
      • ‘The points of intersection of the three lines located the centers of mass.’
      • ‘The arrow in Fig.4A denotes the point of intersection used for sensitivity analyses.’
      • ‘By joining all the points of tangency we construct a line ABC, which is an output expansion path.’
  • 4A single item or detail in an extended discussion, list, or text:

    ‘the main points of the Edinburgh agreement’
    • ‘Curiously, there is no attempt to integrate these points into the main body of the text.’
    • ‘He has written to me courteously and in great detail, explaining technical points about the way his site works.’
    • ‘This study came under sharp criticism on many points, including its lack of rigorous controls.’
    • ‘Some may not care, but many people I know are signing up without reading or understanding the implications of the above three points.’
    • ‘You should keep the following points particularly in mind, and may wish at this point to look again at the Claim Questionnaire.’
    • ‘He was reluctant to be drawn into any detailed discussion of this point.’
    • ‘The main points of interest on the three deck levels are the railings, lifeboat davits and companionways.’
    • ‘Similarly, it is better to paraphrase points made above, rather than repeat them word for word.’
    • ‘He gives a summary of some of the main points which were discussed.’
    • ‘Again, ideas on this matter vary between cultures, but a few general points seem clear.’
    • ‘And what would be the main points of similarity between these two great cities?’
    • ‘The guidelines aren't specific enough on some points.’
    • ‘One of the key points is increasing resident participation.’
    • ‘None of them was concerned with the specific point which arises in this case.’
    • ‘It has already warned that the housing market is beginning to cool so the impact of the new rules is likely to be the main point of interest.’
    • ‘Vary your tone of voice to punctuate important points, and keep it moving to capture interest.’
    • ‘However, it is important to make some specific points clear.’
    • ‘The Court grants special leave to appeal on the two points which I just indicated.’
    • ‘Bulleted lists of key points at the end of each chapter provide an excellent review for students.’
    • ‘We will just retire for a moment to consider these points.’
    detail, item, particular, fact, thing, piece of information, idea, argument, consideration, factor, element, aspect, regard, respect
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    1. 4.1 An argument or idea:
      ‘he made the point that economic regulation involves controls on pricing’
      • ‘Surely, there is a limit to the amount of times you can repeat yourself, just to prove a point?’
      • ‘Although some points have since been challenged and corrected, the basis of his studies remains unchanged.’
      • ‘There are, however, counter-arguments to many of the above points.’
      • ‘Mr Davie made the point that the low paid and many elderly people are particularly hard hit by double figure rises in council tax.’
      • ‘He/she who needs to resort to violence to prove a point, has a poor argument.’
      • ‘At the time, I had no idea what his point was, and I didn't particularly care.’
      • ‘He also made the point that farmers are not aware of the Social Welfare entitlements they might have.’
      • ‘Two particular points in your article do not stand up to any scrutiny.’
      • ‘The district auditor has made the point that he is independent of the council.’
      • ‘He made the point that intelligent bowlers did not chuck every ball.’
      • ‘We will use some examples of this sort of work to illustrate our points.’
      • ‘Indeed, the police made the point that the victim could have been ‘any one of us on a night out’.’
      • ‘They put their ideas and points across very eloquently.’
      • ‘If we sold it for more than we paid into it, we could prove our point.’
      • ‘Some of Jonathan's points cross over with some of my research interests.’
      • ‘Several made the point that with inflation remaining low, it was not enough to sit on your investments.’
      • ‘He made some very valid points in his argument.’
      • ‘He forcefully articulated his points, which were punctuated with statistics and figures.’
      most important fact, main point, central point, essential point, essence, nub, focal point, salient point, heart of the matter, keynote, core, pith, marrow, meat, crux
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    2. 4.2usually the point The significant or essential element of something being planned or discussed:
      ‘it took her a long time to come to the point’
      ‘some speakers rambled and never seemed to get to the point’
      ‘that's not the point’
      • ‘Anyway, the point is that this method cannot be universally relied upon.’
      • ‘The point is that he had the opportunity to change the rules and he left it too late.’
      • ‘The architect later wrote to say that yes, the cement would probably outlast all of them, but that was not quite the point.’
      • ‘So regardless of who gets put in charge, the point is that someone needs to be in charge.’
      • ‘On the subject of Betty's harrowing death, again he seems to miss the point.’
      • ‘The whole point of the new system was to maximize the lord's profits, and to do so in as rational a way as possible.’
      • ‘The whole point of her character was that she was a tough survivor.’
      • ‘To argue that the world of 1919 was worse than that of 1914 is to miss the point.’
      • ‘The whole point of the Oslo process was to settle differences in a peaceful manner.’
      • ‘Whatever its deficiencies, the point was that it was inclusive, not divisive.’
      • ‘Supposedly, the point is that the public can see the people behind the public persona.’
      • ‘Surely the point is that rules and guidelines like this are to be applauded whatever the source.’
      • ‘Grant says the point is that no one knows what it's like to be Lauren or what's going on inside her head.’
      • ‘I think the point is that you need to be not only strategic but tactical as well.’
      • ‘The whole point in this particular case was that she was not simply doing the duties of a merchandiser.’
      • ‘More broadly, the point is that political philosophy is only one part of politics.’
      • ‘The time in New York is five hours behind the time in London, and so on, but that's not the point.’
      • ‘The whole point of a conservation area is to conserve, not to dig it up whenever it is convenient.’
      • ‘To understand the point of the arts, you really have to imagine a society where everything to do with the arts is taken away.’
      • ‘He has been having a quiet tournament, but the point is that he has not been trying to take centre stage.’
      subject, subject matter, theme, issue, matter, talking point, question, concern, argument, discussion, thesis, text, concept, field, area, keynote, leitmotif
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    3. 4.3[in singular], [usually with negative or in questions] Advantage or purpose that can be gained from doing something:
      ‘there was no point in denying the truth’
      ‘what's the point of having things I don't need?’
      • ‘There seems little point in criticising the approach that others take to the dilemma.’
      • ‘What's the point in discussing that if we both know the answers inside out?’
      • ‘What's the point of having two features that do the same thing?’
      • ‘What is the point of drawing up plans if they're not going to be adhered to?’
      • ‘There is no point in denying the language in Shakespeare is problematic.’
      • ‘There's no point in buying a new dishwasher just as you're about to move house.’
      • ‘Joanna sees no point in lying about her age but she wouldn't hesitate having cosmetic surgery if she felt she needed it.’
      • ‘There's no point in being the most skilful player, if you can't keep yourself on the field of play.’
      • ‘There's no point in trying to take them for money because they don't have any.’
      • ‘It's not that I even really understand the point of using conditioner anyway.’
      • ‘His attitude to mathematics was very much as an applied mathematician who saw no point in the study of the subject in its own right.’
      • ‘There's no point in being an artist if your goal is to produce the same thing for your entire career.’
      • ‘The Board say that there is no point testing or treating anyone who has eaten these products if they are well.’
      • ‘There is no point in moaning about it.’
      • ‘There is no need to stock up on supplies - and no point buying a gas mask.’
      • ‘There's really no point in showing mainstream movies that are better viewed on the big screen.’
      • ‘There's no point in splashing out on expensive designer gear if your skin is as rough as sandpaper.’
      • ‘Is there any point inviting comments when planning objections are submitted?’
      • ‘There is absolutely no point in fighting the election unless we take all of these factors on board.’
      • ‘But if the replacement works just as well then what was the point of the decision in the first place?’
      purpose, aim, object, objective, goal, intention, end, design, reason, use, utility, sense, motive, value, advantage
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    4. 4.4[mass noun] Relevance or effectiveness.
      • ‘I am therefore exceedingly unwilling that any thing, however slight, which my illustrious friend thought it worth his while to express, with any degree of point, should perish.’
      • ‘His remarks were always full of point, clearness, and good sense.’
      • ‘As well as giving point to the subject, experience of algebraic representation is crucial if pupils are to understand and use precise algebraic language.’
    5. 4.5 A distinctive feature or characteristic, typically a good one, of a person or thing:
      ‘he has his good points’
      • ‘The reception rooms, large garden and garage are likely to prove key selling points.’
      • ‘A simple, elegant arbor is the focal point at one end of the garden.’
      • ‘They may want to create rich characters that have good points as well as bad ones.’
      • ‘It's positive points are much more plentiful than its negative ones.’
      • ‘There seemed to be good and bad points about every single one of them.’
      • ‘There have been no problems settling into the West Lothian town, even if some of the area's finer points have escaped him so far.’
      • ‘The spacious master bedroom is on the top floor and should prove a key selling point.’
      attribute, characteristic, feature, trait, quality, property, aspect, facet, side
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  • 5(in sports and games) a mark or unit of scoring awarded for success or performance:

    ‘he kicked a penalty goal to put Bangor eight points ahead’
    • ‘Leitrim led by six points at half-time.’
    • ‘Indeed they fell further behind and trailed by 11 points with just five minutes remaining.’
    • ‘Belgium are currently on top on 14 points with Croatia and Scotland next in line on 11 points each.’
    • ‘To score 17 points in a game, and still lose, is a very bitter pill to swallow.’
    • ‘His side were in complete control and at one stage led by seventeen points.’
    • ‘City lie in tenth place in Division Three, just three points of the play-off positions and just five points off third place.’
    • ‘Did you set out to get as many points as possible during qualifying?’
    • ‘He was captain of the basketball team and set a school record by scoring 22 points in a game.’
    • ‘He kicked two vital points from play when they were needed most.’
    • ‘This was close fight and would have been even tighter without the points deducted.’
    • ‘They played extremely well and were unlucky to be beaten by a single point.’
    • ‘The winner is the one who is left with the most points from the remaining three judges.’
    • ‘He also chipped in with two splendid points at vital stages of the game.’
    • ‘Argentina took an early lead but trailed by a point at the break.’
    • ‘If they can garner 19 points in the process they will also seal the championship.’
    • ‘It was just so disappointing to lose the playoff by a single point.’
    • ‘They established a lead at the top of the table which at one stage reached thirteen points.’
    • ‘Given greater composure, they could have scored more tries and thus gained a bonus point.’
    • ‘Four minutes later he stroked his second point majestically with the outside of his right boot.’
    • ‘The loss of two points even at this stage in the season could well be vital.’
    1. 5.1 A unit used in measuring value, achievement, or extent:
      ‘the shares index was down seven points’
      • ‘Outperformance of the benchmark was a handsome 7.1 percentage points per year.’
      • ‘The figure represents an increase of 7.7 percentage points from last year.’
      • ‘That trend was kept up until a week ago when, during that period, the Brady bonds gained three to four percentage points.’
      • ‘Last year one child did not achieve level four in English, dragging the mark down by four percentage points.’
      • ‘Eight of the previous 10 rate cuts the Fed has made this year have been by half a percentage point.’
      • ‘The polls had a margin of error of four percentage points.’
      • ‘The quarter percentage point rise alone is unlikely to push your finances over the edge.’
      • ‘Today's figures represent a net decline of seven points for the President in the past three days.’
      • ‘Rates are down some 2 percentage points compared to the end of last year.’
      • ‘The party is also down four percentage points on the 1991 local elections.’
      • ‘Feeling relieved that your premiums inched up only a few percentage points?’
      • ‘In August, the retail trade business climate indicator rose 2.2 points compared to July.’
      • ‘In the first four weeks, his blood pressure dropped 20 points and he lost five pounds.’
      • ‘Health insurers say the average rise in premiums dropped a couple of percentage points from a year ago.’
      • ‘His vote has fallen by up to 10 percentage points over the last couple of weeks.’
      • ‘However, the news isn't all good: gross margins slipped by 0.3 percentage points year on year.’
      • ‘The Bank of England started to lift the rate in November last year and it has since gone up by 1.25 percentage points.’
      • ‘His gains averaged just three percentage points.’
      • ‘By contrast, the prices of new houses and apartments have risen by only a few percentage points so far this year.’
      • ‘However, the final poll on election day was wrong by about 1.5 to 2 percentage points.’
    2. 5.2 An advantage or success in an argument or discussion:
      ‘she smiled, assuming she had won her point’
      • ‘I could go on, but I think I've made my point.’
      • ‘Napoleon won his point that bishops and clergy should be paid salaries by the state.’
      • ‘I felt then like I would never go back to work until we had won our point.’
    3. 5.3 A unit of credit towards an award or benefit:
      ‘points were allocated according to the inadequacy of the existing accommodation’
      • ‘The You, Your Computer and the Net course is worth 30 points towards an Open University degree.’
      • ‘Whenever possible, travelers look for hotels that offer a generous points program.’
      • ‘He moved on to study for a B.A. and has completed 54 points towards his degree - more than half way.’
      • ‘If she receives the required points, Deirdre hopes to study Forensic Science.’
      • ‘This was below the passing level of 60 points and even lower than the 58 points assessed last year.’
      • ‘Then let your child trade his earned points for privileges, like extra playtime.’
      • ‘I wouldn't let a few points off of my credit score keep me from purchasing a home.’
      • ‘For every special initiative they are credited with further points.’
    4. 5.4 A percentage of the profits from a film or recording offered to certain people involved in its production.
      • ‘Because he is a producer as well as an actor you can be sure he has points in the film.’
      • ‘The percentage involvement reflects a hierarchy, so the director of photography has more points than the clapper loader.’
      • ‘All the cast and crew will be paid when the film gets sold, and core cast and crew have points in the film should it return a profit.’
    5. 5.5point of (in piquet) the longest suit in a player's hand, containing a specified number of up to eight cards.
      • ‘If the Elder has at least four cards in a suit, he may make a declaration. For example, ‘Point of four’.’
      • ‘The number of cards in the suit is announced (e.g. ‘point of 5’) and it scores this number.’
    6. 5.6 A unit of weight (2 mg) for diamonds.
      • ‘A 100 point diamond might cost three times as much as a 50 point diamond.’
      • ‘Even a one-point difference in a diamond's weight can dramatically affect its value.’
      • ‘The point system provides a convenient – and more impressive – way of describing diamonds that are less than one carat.’
    7. 5.7 A unit of varying value, used in quoting the price of stocks, bonds, or futures.
      • ‘On Wednesday, the Dow surged by 500 points, its second-biggest one-day gain in history.’
      • ‘When message boards first took off in the mid 90s, postings like that could send stock up or down several points in a day.’
      • ‘It seems hard to believe that just a short year ago the Nasdaq was over 5,000 points and climbing.’
      • ‘The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day just 6 points higher at 10,887.’
      • ‘A supreme court defeat would wipe four or five points off the price of the bond in a day.’
    8. 5.8Bridge A value assigned to certain cards (4 points for an ace, 3 for a king, 2 for a queen, and 1 for a jack, sometimes with extra points for long or short suits) by a player in assessing the strength of their hand:
      ‘in Acol it is permissible to open with only twelve points’
      • ‘The result of the hand depends on the number of card points won by the opponents.’
      • ‘Usually it is permitted to look at your side's tricks, to check how many card points you have.’
      • ‘On each deal, there is a target score which depends on the number of high card points held.’
      • ‘Each card has a point value, and points are counted for combinations held in the hand before it is played.’
      • ‘After a claim, the claiming player's tricks are exposed and the card points are counted.’
  • 6Each of thirty-two directions marked at equal distances round a compass.

    • ‘Turn the map until the North point on the compass card points East or West of the lubber line.’
    • ‘She licked the pad and pressed it onto the glass next to the compass point.’
    • ‘I hardly take note of the geometrical dimensions of the table or its spatial location with respect to the points of the compass.’
    • ‘It had a huge screen, curved around four seats, each facing in the way of their own compass points, it seemed.’
    • ‘Arrayed around it like points on the compass rose were sections of the house.’
    1. 6.1 A direction towards the horizon corresponding to the direction marked on a compass.
      • ‘After missing a couple of early sighters, Carter kicked goals from all points of the compass.’
      • ‘Having taken in the view from all points of the compass, I was about to leave when I spotted some pay phones.’
      • ‘At various distances and points of the compass, he could see other men holding red and white striped poles.’
      • ‘Ordinary pilgrims from all points of the compass purchase religious amulets and books.’
      • ‘The wind appeared to blow from all points of the compass at once, a trick of which Dublin winds have the secret.’
    2. 6.2 The angular interval between two successive points of a compass, i.e. one eighth of a right angle (11° 15ʹ).
    3. 6.3points —— Unspecified places considered in terms of their direction from a specified place:
      ‘they headed down Highway 401 to Ontario and points west’
      • ‘He hit the road for points east.’
      • ‘We would rent out our house in Ireland and use that income to explore North America, then buy a camper van and travel down to Mexico, and all points south.’
      • ‘Passengers for points west could go through without stopping to change cars.’
  • 7A narrow piece of land jutting out into the sea:

    ‘the boat came round the point’
    [in names] ‘Blakeney Point’
    • ‘I elect to stay outside and swim round the point, making a circuit back to the boat through an archway in the cliff.’
    • ‘We walked up the curving beach below Malibu Creek and paddled out at the top of the point.’
    • ‘I'm just taking the canoe around the point for a little paddle.’
    • ‘We'll go back around the point and into that last small bight we passed on our way here.’
    • ‘I walked alone south along the beach toward Cape Point.’
    promontory, headland, head, foreland, cape, peninsula, bluff, ness, horn, bill
    View synonyms
  • 8usually pointsBritish A junction of two railway lines, with a pair of linked tapering rails that can be moved laterally to allow a train to pass from one line to the other:

    ‘the train gave a lurch as it passed over the points’
    • ‘The crash was caused by a faulty set of points.’
    • ‘The first train to pass over the points was the 7am service to Glasgow.’
    • ‘A preliminary investigation into the accident has blamed loose points near the station as the likely cause of the derailment.’
    • ‘The points changed direction just after the first three carriages passed over them.’
    • ‘Because of the vibration of the trains passing over points, bolts may loosen slightly over time.’
    • ‘The line could be extended to Skipton, and beyond, by the simple addition of a set of points at Embsay Junction.’
  • 9Printing
    A unit of measurement for type sizes and spacing (in the UK and US 0.351 mm, in Europe 0.376 mm).

    • ‘Because monitors display at different resolutions, 12-point type on one screen could approximate 14-point type on another.’
    • ‘Using 10-point font size for the main text the printing area should be 12.2 x 19.3 cm.’
  • 10Cricket
    A fielding position on the off side near the batsman.

    • ‘Players noted for their agility, acceleration and throwing accuracy will often field in the infield positions such as point, cover and mid-wicket.’
    • ‘He hit straight to Clarke at point, took off for a single, tried to stop and gave up before a stump was knocked from the ground.’
    • ‘I also field at point.’
    • ‘You will usually find the best fielder in the team fielding at point.’
    1. 10.1 A fielder at the point position.
      • ‘The point all the while must keep his face towards the batter.’
      • ‘Point does not chat with cover-point.’
    2. 10.2Ice Hockey Either of two areas to the left and right of the net, just inside the blue line where it meets the boards.
      • ‘Usually the players at the two points are the defensemen.’
      • ‘He was robbed of what looked a certain goal when he moved in from the point was stopped by a big block.’
      • ‘She skated in from her position at the point to collect a pass in the right circle.’
    3. 10.3Basketball A position at the front of the court, usually manned by the guard who sets up the team's defence.
  • 11usually points(in a motor vehicle) each of a set of electrical contacts in the distributor.

    • ‘If the points need to be replaced you must remove the flywheel.’
    • ‘The distributor should be completely dismantled and the points examined.’
    • ‘I cleaned the points and the bike is now rideable.’
  • 12A small leading party of an advanced guard of troops.

    • ‘They were advancing slowly in three points across the Realm, wiping out anything that stood against them.’
    • ‘He sent three of his men ahead as a ‘point’.’
    1. 12.1North American [mass noun] The position at the head of a column or wedge of troops:
      ‘he walked point and I took the tail’
      • ‘I know the layout of the town best, so I'll ride point.’
      • ‘Who wants to walk point today?’
    2. 12.2North American
      short for point man
  • 13usually pointsThe extremities of an animal, typically a horse or cat, such as the face, paws, and tail of a Siamese cat:

    ‘a pure white dog with black points’
    • ‘The dorsal stripe is the color of the horse's points.’
    • ‘The mask, legs and tail should all show clear tabby markings which should be the same colour on all points.’
    extremity, furthermost part, limit, margin, edge, border, boundary, periphery
    View synonyms
  • 14Hunting
    A spot to which a straight run is made.

    • ‘The hounds turned again, and the fox made his point which proved to be Glenn Gorse.’
    • ‘These marshy channels are the invariable point of any hunted boar.’
    1. 14.1 A straight run:
      ‘our fox made his point to Moorhill’
      • ‘The hounds made an eight mile point in a little over 45 minutes.’
      • ‘There was much gnashing of teeth, as there were but eight riders with them, and it was a point of eight miles.’
      • ‘My maternal grandfather was 84 when he died, having ridden a five-mile point to hounds barely six weeks before.’
  • 15usually pointshistorical A tagged piece of ribbon or cord used for lacing a garment or attaching a hose to a doublet.

    • ‘He began to untruss his points.’
    • ‘He accommodated the friar with his assistance in tying the endless number of points.’
  • 16A short piece of cord at the lower edge of a sail for tying up a reef.

    • ‘The eye of one point is put through the hole in the reef-hand.’
    • ‘The top-sails are always reefed with points.’
    • ‘I was paying attention to getting the points tied in and the main halyard stowed.’
  • 17[mass noun] The action or position of a dog in pointing:

    ‘a bird dog on point’
    • ‘She exhibits classic English setter style on point with a nice running gait.’
    • ‘She can hold a point for what seems like an eternity.’
    • ‘Some dogs tend to exhibit signs of jealousy on seeing another dog on point.’
  • 18Music
    An important phrase or subject, especially in a contrapuntal composition.

    • ‘Stokowski changes gear at points as if he decided tempos needed geared up.’
    • ‘It is almost as if the conductor/composer had changed the orchestration at points.’


  • 1[no object] Direct someone's attention towards something by extending one's finger or something held in one's hand:

    ‘the lads were nudging each other and pointing at me’
    • ‘Carol looked to see what her finger was pointing at.’
    • ‘This time it was Rachel who stopped them, a finger pointing at a small doll in the window.’
    • ‘She noticed a pair of children pointing at her and nudging each other.’
    • ‘One 1927 ad shows fingers pointing at the shoulders of a man wearing a dark suit.’
    • ‘He had managed to distract the man's attention by pointing at something behind his back.’
    • ‘Before he left the room, Roth pointed down the hall towards the bathroom.’
    • ‘‘Go stand over there,’ her father directed, pointing at one of the flowerpots.’
    • ‘Trent flung his arm out, pointing at the buffalo.’
    • ‘The referee rightly pointed to the spot and Addingham players sniffed a comeback.’
    • ‘The stick-like finger pointing at the page was shaking so much it hardly marked the place at all.’
    • ‘‘The office is down that way,’ he pointed down a hallway.’
    • ‘She pointed straight ahead of them, but over to the right a bit.’
    • ‘‘There you go, again,’ he said, his finger pointing at the pictures.’
    • ‘He opens a candy bar, shoves it into his mouth, and points towards the table.’
    • ‘I was primed to sit on my couch with a finger pointing at the TV, a hand over my mouth, and a look of both horror and euphoria on my face.’
    • ‘He pointed down the hallway to her right where one of the staircases were.’
    • ‘If you met me you would probably just point and laugh and I wouldn't blame you.’
    • ‘When he saw that he had caught my attention he pointed towards the girl's bathroom, which was on the right.’
    • ‘Her arm was held out with one slender finger pointing towards the door.’
    • ‘He turned his attention to me, pointing at me carefully.’
    1. 1.1[with adverbial] Indicate a particular time, direction, or reading:
      ‘a sign pointing left’
      • ‘There are a few pathetic road signs pointing in the general direction and some small signs at the outlet village.’
      • ‘The earth's magnetic field now points south, meaning that a compass needle points north.’
      • ‘The twigs formed a large arrow pointing in the direction of the signal tree.’
      • ‘At one point, I realise I am heading at right angles to the direction a tourist sign is pointing.’
      • ‘A Scottish Rights of Way Society sign points the direction and a track leads through a gate above the waters of the Callater Burn.’
      • ‘He sees a sign pointing the way to a toilet down the corridor.’
      • ‘A Scottish cycle route sign pointed the way and we decided to take some pictures.’
      • ‘We reverse down another road and see a sign for the Forest but it's pointing in another direction entirely.’
      • ‘At Castle Place the Coney Island sign is pointing in the wrong direction which must be very confusing for visitors.’
      • ‘Consumer spending indicators are pointing down.’
      • ‘They all now came down to a brown old sign that pointed in two directions.’
      • ‘There are lots of arrows pointing in different directions.’
    2. 1.2[with object] Direct or aim (something) at someone or something:
      ‘he pointed the torch beam at the floor’
      • ‘He pointed the microphone at the crowd for the final chorus.’
      • ‘It is tempting to try a few long exposure shots provided you don't have an unwary fellow-guest pointing his flash light at you.’
      • ‘Two men burst into the crowded shop and one pointed the weapon at staff and customers.’
      • ‘‘We had better go and see if anyone's been hurt,’ Cate said, pointing the torch back up towards the bombsite.’
      • ‘Then he pointed the gun straight up in the air and pulled the trigger.’
      • ‘He feared for his own life when the gunman pointed the weapon at him and pulled the trigger.’
      • ‘I pointed the light into the vent again, but still saw nothing.’
      • ‘He is pictured pointing his weapon at his colleague.’
      • ‘He had pointed the weapon at the man and his son and then fled in a pickup.’
      • ‘Both soldiers pointed their weapons at me.’
      • ‘The constable told the man to stop, but the man kept coming, and pointed the weapon at him, so he shot him in the leg.’
      • ‘The man smiled, and pointed his gun up into the air.’
      • ‘As soon as the pair saw him, they pointed a sawn-off double barrelled shotgun and a handgun at him.’
      • ‘‘Back away,’ Floyd directed, pointing a large stick of chalk at Kyle.’
      • ‘When we see a dramatic sky, we tend to point the camera up, excluding the ground entirely, but this is to overlook the potential of the event.’
      • ‘But as I walked through the door carrying Jasmine in her carry cot I was grabbed by a masked man who pointed a gun straight at my head.’
      • ‘The soldiers quickly took cover, pointing their weapons from behind street corners built of honey-coloured stone.’
      • ‘There's a truck parked on a hill pointing its lights at me.’
      • ‘Someone pointed a flashlight straight to the sky, enticing moths to flutter through the beam.’
      • ‘He was pointing his finger up at her.’
      aim, direct, level, train
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3[with adverbial of direction] Face or be turned in a particular direction:
      ‘two of its toes point forward and two point back’
      • ‘Seconds later, a thunderous explosion sounded and cattle that were pointed towards water now bolted away from the explosion.’
      • ‘Stand erect with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, toes pointing slightly outward.’
      • ‘Menwith Hill alone has around 30 radio receivers pointing in different directions, indicating it is receiving data from many different satellites.’
      • ‘All of them are virtually black, and their tall, narrow, hefty bodies make them look like crude cannons, pointing in every direction as if fearing attack from all sides.’
      • ‘At night, you could see four searchlights pointing directly upwards to indicate the corner of the neutral zone.’
      • ‘Now just turn your body all the way through the ball and try to stop in the position you see here, with your arms fully extended and the club pointing at your belly button.’
      • ‘Many of last year's perennials still have dead flower stalks pointing skyward.’
      • ‘The poles were pointing outward at an angle to stop any invaders from coming closer.’
      • ‘The jury foreman said: ‘The gun was pointing in the direction of the police officer.’’
      • ‘They're finishing off the security system, which includes an elaborate set of cameras pointing in every direction.’
      • ‘My feet are set about shoulder width, the toes pointed slightly outward.’
      • ‘Four giant white spotlights were illuminated from the top of each gantry, pointing upwards towards the sky.’
  • 2[no object, with adverbial] Cite a fact or situation as evidence of something:

    ‘he points to several factors supporting this conclusion’
    • ‘Rodgers points to this as evidence his committee must be doing something right.’
    • ‘He also points to the potential role that community finance institutions can play.’
    • ‘He pointed to the fact that despite the majority of seats there is still no minister here.’
    • ‘They point to the plans for increased public spending as an indication of what might lie ahead.’
    • ‘James was pointing to the fact that the relationship between mind and body is not just one way.’
    • ‘He points to the fact that people are still coming forward to risk their lives for this experiment.’
    • ‘His detractors have pointed at these disappointments as evidence of his shortcomings.’
    • ‘As proof, we point to the fact that the same author also wrote six books predicting the end of the world.’
    • ‘He pointed rightly to the fact that the business of the Company had been preserved, as had over a hundred jobs.’
    • ‘The competition watchdog pointed towards store sales and improved terms for suppliers as it outlined remedies for the possible takeover.’
    • ‘Many commentators point to the fact that he was as much a political as a spiritual leader.’
    • ‘He points to better management as the means of turning good technology into a strong business.’
    • ‘He rightly points to the fact that debate is the meat of scientific endeavour.’
    • ‘As evidence some critics pointed to the fact that he opposes requiring employee stock options to be recorded as expenses.’
    • ‘He points to the fact that in the judgment which we have given we have not doubted the verdict of the jury.’
    • ‘He points to the second world war when the only incidence of panic was when people were isolated.’
    • ‘But critics point to the fact that the clubs do benefit from public money, at least indirectly.’
    1. 2.1point to (of a fact or situation) indicate that (something) is likely to happen or be the case:
      ‘everything pointed to an Eastern attack’
      • ‘So much in the past points to censorship being too harsh.’
      • ‘He argued that the court had chosen to ignore evidence pointing beyond doubt to the innocence of the nurses.’
      • ‘Currency movements are notoriously difficult to predict, but signs point to further weakening of the dollar.’
      • ‘That she is even a potential leadership contender points to the mess of the current party.’
      • ‘It said evidence pointed overwhelmingly to MMR as the most effective and safest way of protecting children from measles, mumps and rubella.’
      • ‘Forecasts point to a worsening situation in the third and fourth quarters of this year.’
      • ‘Better yet, several key indicators point to further job gains.’
      • ‘It all points to disruption on rather a large scale and uncertainty at least in the medium term.’
      • ‘For the next few weeks at least all the directional indicators are pointing to blood in the hencoop.’
      • ‘There are many facts pointing to sweeping climatic changes in the Earth's distant past.’
      • ‘The fact that the gun turret has fallen off points to this being the point of collision.’
      • ‘The physical evidence pointed strongly to his guilt.’
      • ‘This points also to the fact that we should not only write ourselves into the text, but also into the action.’
      • ‘He did not concede that the evidence pointed ineluctably to a single conspiracy.’
      • ‘And everything is pointing to the fact that he has already forgotten about me and has a new girlfriend.’
      • ‘This new inside knowledge points to a high degree of manipulation by the government.’
      • ‘This points to adaptive design as a strategy potentially running across most of what we do.’
      • ‘The evidence points to a political gesture in which doctrine is only a pretext.’
      • ‘It also points to the fact that work by women has been neglected on the stage of one of our foremost theatres.’
      • ‘We don't know for sure but recent evidence points to a Jacobite safe house in Stirling.’
      indicate, suggest, be evidence of, evidence, signal, signify, denote, be symptomatic of, be a sign of, be a symptom of, reveal, manifest
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2[with object] Give force or emphasis to (words or actions):
      ‘he wouldn't miss the opportunity to point a moral’
      • ‘The Coroner, in pointing the moral, condemned the sale at hucksters' shops of cheap, pernicious cigarettes and said the case should be a warning to boys addicted to cigarette smoking.’
      • ‘He points his words with barbs of humor to make them stick.’
      • ‘The wealth of illustrative material drawn from the political and commercial history of the world with which he pointed his arguments, gave them a touch of human interest.’
      • ‘She leant across the table and pointed her remarks with her knitting needles.’
  • 3Ballet
    [with object] Extend (the toes) by tensing the foot and ankle so as to form a point:

    ‘reach up with your arms and point your toes’
    • ‘Imagine pointing your toe and contracting your calf as hard as you can, then dropping your heel off the edge of a step and stretching it out.’
    • ‘From this position, flick your foot until your toes lift off the floor slightly, pointing your toes as they lift.’
    • ‘It is feasible to design a pair of boots that restrict rotation of the foot to the inside or outside, but still allow total mobility in pointing the toe.’
    • ‘Dancers long complained that the laces dug into their arch the more they pointed their foot.’
    • ‘I pointed my toes and my body became a stiffened arch.’
    • ‘Corrina lifted her feet out of her shoes and, pointing her left foot like a ballerina might, she ran her foot lightly up and down Aaron's leg.’
    • ‘I'm also getting used to relaxing my legs and not pointing my toes so hard.’
    • ‘They're busy cleaning their brushes, clearing their throats, sharpening their pencils, shining their saxophones and pointing their toes.’
    • ‘For example, alphabet exercises can be done by pointing your toes and drawing the alphabet in the air.’
    • ‘Brendon is the first one to stir, sitting up and stretching, pointing his leather-booted toes.’
    • ‘She lay on her bed and did some exercises, stretching out her legs and feet and pointing her toes.’
    • ‘Diligently pointing their feet, they march onstage and take their places at the barre.’
    • ‘Avoid pointing your toes when stretching or exercising.’
  • 4[with object] Fill the joints of (brickwork or masonry) with smoothly finished mortar:

    ‘the bricks have been poorly pointed’
    • ‘Ideally you should point the brickwork after the bricks have been laid long enough for the mortar to start to set.’
    • ‘Paddy Geraghty and myself used to point that wall when I was employed in the wood many years ago.’
    • ‘Even if the client provides the materials the cost is likely to be more because of the labour involved in mixing the concrete and pointing the wall.’
    • ‘The brickwork was being pointed up and painters were carefully applying fresh coats of white paint to doors and lintels.’
    • ‘They painted and pointed all the walls and completed the electrical fittings.’
  • 5[with object] Give a sharp, tapered point to:

    ‘he twisted and pointed his moustache’
    • ‘Shape the sticks into batons by shaving off the square corners and pointing the ends.’
    • ‘They painted by hand and pointed the tips of their brushes by moistening the tips between their lips.’
    • ‘Anthony would make the best devil, if we pointed his beard and gelled his hair.’
  • 6[with object] Insert points in (written text of Semitic languages).

    • ‘Some manuscripts are pointed with what looks like the Land of Israel system written with Tiberian symbols.’
    • ‘This variety of reading arises chiefly from the different modes of pointing the Hebrew words.’
    • ‘The method of pointing the texts which was ultimately accepted was developed by a group of scholars called the Masoretes.’
    1. 6.1 Mark (Psalms) with signs for chanting.
      • ‘This effect probably owes something to her experience of churchgoing, from which she would have learnt the Anglican practice of ‘pointing’ psalms.’
      • ‘Any system of pointing the psalms is bound to receive criticism, as, by its nature, it implies a subjective interpretation of the words.’
      • ‘I have found this discussion very interesting with solid guidance for pointing the psalms and choosing psalm tones.’
  • 7[with object] (of a dog) indicate the presence of (game) by standing rigid while looking towards it.

    • ‘Both dogs found and pointed a group of about seven or eight birds.’
    • ‘The judges will not only base their classification on the number of times a dog points game, but rather on the overall quality of the points.’
    • ‘If one dog points game the other dog must back the first dog.’


  • at all points

    • In every part or respect:

      ‘he turned to her, neat at all points, ready for anything’
      • ‘There is no desire - we want, we are discouraging it at all points.’
  • beside (or off) the point

    • Irrelevant:

      ‘Eliot's arguments are wholly beside the point’
      • ‘Frankly, this sort of literary speculation is largely beside the point.’
      • ‘That his Social Security proposal wasn't going anywhere was almost beside the point.’
      • ‘It's also rubbish, boring and largely made-up, but that is beside the point.’
      • ‘Perhaps you won't love it with such disturbing ardour as me, but that's beside the point.’
      • ‘Whether we believe in capital punishment is beside the point, presumably those running these prisons think it's a fine idea.’
      • ‘The case naturally provoked a lot of commentary, much of it beside the point.’
      • ‘The fact that the law has not been used for 12 years is beside the point.’
      • ‘I don't support the occupation myself, but that's beside the point.’
      • ‘But any such intuition is utterly beside the point, irrelevant as well as impolite.’
      • ‘What happens to the fans in a particular city is beside the point.’
      irrelevant, immaterial, unimportant, not to the point, neither here nor there, nothing to do with it, not pertinent, not germane, off the subject, inapposite, inconsequential, incidental, pointless, out of place, wide of the mark, unconnected, peripheral, tangential, extraneous, extrinsic
      View synonyms
  • case in point

    • An instance or example that illustrates what is being discussed:

      ‘the ‘green revolution’ in agriculture is a good case in point’
      • ‘A few cases in point: Two men attacked a British executive on the subway.’
      • ‘This remarkable piece of documentary theatre is a case in point: it is both reflective and incisive.’
      • ‘South Africa, the continent's most successful big economy, is the most important case in point.’
      • ‘What is now happening on the Shankill Road is a classic example of the case in point.’
      • ‘The distances between producer and consumer, suppliers and manufacturers are increasing everywhere - owers from Kenya and shoes from Taiwan are cases in point.’
      • ‘Alas, this principle is applied more generally as governments assume control of the delivery or standard of services of one sort or another: currently the National Health Service and the railways are cases in point.’
      • ‘Just a case in point, the Cathedral that you see behind me is now open for mass every Sunday.’
      • ‘The Royal Museum that houses the first cloned sheep named Dolly, the National Gallery of Scotland along with quite a few national museums are paradigmatic cases in point.’
      • ‘Christmas shopping, an activity rife with tragic overtones, is a case in point.’
      • ‘The air pollution caused by smoking autos and scooters is a case in point.’
      example, instance, case, representative case, typical case, illustration, specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification, occasion, occurrence
      View synonyms
  • in point of fact

    • see fact
      in fact, as a matter of fact, actually, in actual fact, really, in reality, as it happens, in truth, to tell the truth, truly
      View synonyms
  • make one's point

    • Put across a proposition clearly and convincingly:

      ‘he sat back, satisfied he had made his point’
      • ‘But I must not have made my point clearly, because the sense in which he offers the statement is different from what I mean.’
      • ‘Then I explained to them about their incapacity to find a resonant moral language for making their point without calling upon the deep resources of classical Christian pacifism.’
      • ‘And I think that they make their point very clearly.’
      • ‘Rather than getting into a shouting match, he recommends taking three deep breaths, changing your environment or making your point assertively but calmly.’
      • ‘Also, I clearly didn't make my point well enough, for which I apologize.’
      • ‘Respond first to what was said before making your point.’
      • ‘These guys mean business, and they are also quite good with the theatrics involved in making their point to a defendant.’
      • ‘That was an example of having a specific humor idea and neatly making your point by skillfully editing the news clips of the day.’
      • ‘So it was necessary to step it up a notch, because if you didn't get arrested and didn't even get harassed, you obviously weren't making your point.’
      • ‘Perhaps, if he had reverted to the Irish language, he might have been able to make his point more clearly.’
  • make a point of

    • Make a special and noticeable effort to do (a specified thing):

      ‘she made a point of taking a walk each day’
      • ‘Most parents make a point of actively discouraging their offspring from forming any relationship with a motorbike.’
      • ‘So he makes a point of always getting up and walking over to just in front of the last guest spot on the couch and standing there during the performance.’
      • ‘The best I could do was to make a point of always speaking courteously to travelers.’
      • ‘Most political reporters make a point of not saying how they vote.’
      • ‘They're making a point of what kind of clothes he wears.’
      • ‘Now there are the rest of you who are making a point of not voting.’
      • ‘I make a point of not discussing various matters on this site.’
      • ‘The driver will invariably be making a point of not seeing the pedestrian, sometimes even turning the head away to look at the opposite side of the road.’
      • ‘When someone phones up with a job offer I make a point of not making a note of their name or telephone number and of not jotting down the content and deadline details in my diary.’
      • ‘Regardless of all this, I make a point of always having a good book with me.’
      make an effort to, go out of one's way to, place emphasis on, put emphasis on
      View synonyms
  • on point

    • 1Relevant:

      ‘none of the above comments are on point’
      1. 1.1US informal Extremely good, attractive, or stylish:
        ‘her outfit was on point’
        ‘Janet's vocals were on point’
  • point the finger

    • Openly accuse someone or apportion blame:

      ‘I hope that the committee will point the finger at the real culprits’
      • ‘And the would-be organiser is pointing the finger of blame firmly at ‘anti-royalist’ members of Rochdale Council.’
      • ‘I don't want politicians blaming each other and pointing the finger at each other on the international stage.’
      • ‘Over-fishing and seals have been blamed, while others point the finger at traditional waters getting warmer and pushing fish away.’
      • ‘It's very easy to point the finger and accuse a famous person of being in the wrong.’
      • ‘In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, he denied any blame and pointed the finger at senior commanders.’
      • ‘It accused Defra of deliberately ignoring deer and pointing the finger at badgers instead, even though a TB-infected badger had never been found in Cumbria.’
      • ‘Expect to see them pointing the finger at SDLP MPs and accusing them of undermining the national project.’
      • ‘According to the psychologists involved parents are taught to explain to their children how their behaviour affects other people rather than pointing the finger of blame at them.’
      • ‘He said he wasn't pointing the finger of blame at Council officials or anyone else, just saying there was a problem there and it was the Council's responsibility to address it.’
      • ‘However, in contrast, my argument is that we need to be cautious about where we lay blame rather than pointing the finger at easy scapegoats.’
      blame, accuse, denounce, inform against, blacken the name of
      incriminate, implicate, involve
      frame, set up, pin the blame on, stick the blame on, grass on, rat on
      fit up
      View synonyms
  • the point of no return

    • The point in a journey or enterprise at which it becomes essential or more practical to continue to the end rather than turn back.

      • ‘Analysts claim that the Scottish Executive's own promises are themselves indicative of the problem which has brought North Sea fish stocks close to the point of no return.’
      • ‘More importantly, we have now passed the point of no return.’
      • ‘The democratic activists are beyond the point of no return.’
      • ‘With the policies of pre-emption being much debated, perhaps it is unfashionable to bring up a crisis that is rapidly reaching the point of no return.’
      • ‘With climate changes now near the point of no return, big sections of the Artic and Antarctic ice floes are breaking off, drifting into the oceans and melting.’
      • ‘For thousands of African slaves this was the point of no return.’
      • ‘Given that, and your background and the work you are doing right now, some believe we're at the point of no return, or possibly quite close to it.’
      • ‘The world economy, it seems, has by now passed the point of no return, and we are set upon the road to a single integrated global economy, regardless of the wishes of governments and citizens.’
      • ‘One of the biggest problems in American culture is our society's tendency to embrace youth and glamorize youth to the point of no return, in the same breath.’
      • ‘This is the point of no return, where matter is sucked into the black hole itself, where the gravitational pull is so great that not even light can escape - giving the black hole its name.’
  • point of sailing

    • A sailing boat's heading in relation to the wind:

      ‘adjust the centre board according to point of sailing’
  • point taken

    • A response indicating that the speaker recognizes the validity of someone's idea or argument:

      ‘point taken, but I stand by my view’
      • ‘I know only too well, that were it not for our patients, doctors and nurses would not have jobs. Point taken.’
      • ‘Point taken about the pressure factor, but I can't help feeling that the studying philosophy can afford the student useful tools when it comes to interpreting philosophical texts.’
      • ‘Point taken, however there were different circumstances.’
      • ‘Point taken, but I don't think legislating against it works.’
      • ‘If you're correcting me about using the phrase wrongly, point taken.’
  • score points

    • Outdo another person, especially in an argument:

      ‘politicians are always sniping at one another to score party points’
      ‘the participants seemed more eager to score points off one another than to explain the social phenomena under investigation’
    • Deliberately make oneself appear superior to someone else by making clever remarks:

      ‘she was constantly trying to think of ways to score points off him’
  • take someone's point

    • Accept the validity of someone's idea or argument.

      • ‘I take your point about their relative ease in front of the camera, but then these are people who like, and are used to, living their lives and washing their dirty linen in public.’
      • ‘I take your point entirely, and I agree with you about what the process of inspection is about and the rectification of any sort of deficiency in the process is admirable.’
      • ‘I take your point that this is not a definition of art, but it's a working definition of art.’
      • ‘I entirely agree with his last two sentences, and I take his point, but I disagree with the rest.’
      • ‘We take his point that it is a partnership with private enterprise that has been suggested, but this does not alter this paper's view that the council should be responsible for the efficient management of its own buildings.’
      • ‘Everybody expected Davis to take his point but the youngster had other ideas and blasted to the net to leave the Rags victorious.’
      • ‘I take your point, I was going with what I observed rather than something I'd read.’
      • ‘I do take his point about the need for openness - this Government accepts that.’
      • ‘I take your point that neither is mutually exclusive, but recognising that neither is mandatory on a particular police service, in that context, should we not just go for best practice, if it is not mandatory in any event?’
      • ‘But I'm not sure that I take your point about the equivalence of Japanese and English syllables in scansion.’
  • to the point

    • Relevant:

      ‘his evidence was brief and to the point’
      • ‘That means a long car journey and, more to the point, an argument about what music to play.’
      • ‘If the safety of teenage girls is the objective, then money spent on taxis home is more to the point.’
      • ‘More to the point still, is this potential to anger particularly strong in the media?’
      • ‘More to the point, I wonder how much those coffee addicts spend on their habit in a week?’
      • ‘In fact, more to the point, why stand for election to something you only want to destroy?’
      • ‘More to the point, if I made a copy of a cassette, the copy would be inferior to the original.’
      • ‘Why is she phoning me and more to the point, why is she phoning me at 9 in the morning?’
      • ‘More to the point, this marks a subtle shift in the nature of what a computer is.’
      • ‘The chapters are brief and to the point, making the book easy to read, and to put down and pick up.’
      • ‘More to the point, would Ansel Adams have used digital cameras if he were alive today?’
      relevant, pertinent, apposite, germane, applicable, apropos, appropriate, apt, fitting, suitable, material, connected, related, linked
      ad rem
      View synonyms
  • up to a point

    • To some extent but not completely.

      • ‘I think it is important that they have a different vision of how America advances its goals in the world, up to a point.’
      • ‘He said the council would cover a shortfall - up to a point.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that virtual reality is a valuable tool that can save time and money, but designers and industry chiefs trust virtual cars only up to a point.’
      • ‘Well, I like funny-shaped buildings up to a point, and this one would make, I reckon, an excellent motor museum.’
      • ‘It makes a certain amount of sense, up to a point, in a ‘look on the bright side’ sort of way.’
      • ‘Well, my fears seem to have been realised up to a point.’
      • ‘To be fair they were quite entertaining, up to a point.’
      • ‘The cars are more experienced at aiming to miss cyclists than you are at aiming to miss cars, trust the local drivers - up to a point.’
      • ‘You can even choose your ethnic identity up to a point.’
      • ‘England will be prepared to gamble on him, up to a point.’
      partly, to some extent, to a certain extent, to some degree, to a certain degree, in part, somewhat, partially, not totally, not entirely, not wholly
      View synonyms
  • win on points

    • Win by scoring more points than one's opponent (as awarded by the judges and/or the referee) rather than by a knockout.

      • ‘All three judges controversially saw the former winning on points - a verdict the latter has always refused to accept.’
      • ‘He could not win by a knockout, he could not win on points against the tireless Darcy assault, all he could do was dig in and try to survive for 20 rounds.’
      • ‘In September he successfully defended his Oriental Flyweight title against the Japanese boxer Hitoshi Misako, again winning on points over 12 rounds.’
      • ‘The first and last time they met was 12 years ago as super middleweights at a leisure centre in Gloucester, when Curtis won on points.’
      • ‘A mind-blowing battle ended with a deserved Frazier win on points.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • point something out

    • 1Direct someone's gaze or attention towards, especially by extending one's finger:

      ‘I pointed out a conical heap of stones’
      • ‘One would be hard pressed to point out a single fat man among these thousands.’
      • ‘He pointed out matching areas around the mouth and eyebrows as well as the nose and jaw line.’
      • ‘She pointed out which room was his and then called for the nearest servant.’
      • ‘As we left, he pointed out the tree which is directly in front of the pub door.’
      • ‘He points out areas recently cleared of abandoned cars and rubbish.’
      • ‘As they drove, she played tour guide and pointed out spots of interest in Dover.’
      • ‘He only survived because he was swept into a ditch and a man spotted him and pointed out a route to safety.’
      • ‘He pointed out the seat and I made my way towards it, my bag swinging in my hands.’
      identify, show, designate, call attention to, draw attention to, direct attention to, indicate, specify, detail, mention, refer to, allude to, touch on
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1[reporting verb]Say something to make someone aware of a fact or circumstance:
        [with clause] ‘she pointed out that his van had been in the car park all day’
        [with direct speech] ‘‘Most of the people round here are very poor,’ I pointed out’
        • ‘He points out that one very important aspect of his training for his new job was in customer care.’
        • ‘She also points out that these children benefit from the family support brothers and sisters can offer.’
        • ‘I must point out here that I don't have problem with directors appearing in films.’
        • ‘Most crimes, he points out, are committed by a very few persistent offenders.’
        • ‘We sent out a notice to all 500 finance directors in the NHS trusts pointing out what was going on.’
        • ‘However, the report also points out that much progress has been made, locally and nationally.’
        • ‘We have so many contradictory feelings when we meet people, he points out.’
        • ‘She points out that he disappeared for 14 years without saying a word to Sharon.’
        • ‘As she points out, most working men's clubs could not operate without women.’
        • ‘Many commentators have rightly pointed out that such a ' bill of rights' would be a legal minefield.’
        • ‘He pointed out that there was never any suggestion of violence or threats towards the victim.’
        • ‘Unlike film and TV, he points out, on stage you have to get it right each time.’
        • ‘She points out that clothes can help people feel better about themselves.’
        • ‘He points out that substantial funding is being poured in to the police areas worst affected by violent crime.’
        • ‘Oily fish, such as mackerel or trout, is one of the easiest things possible to cook, points out Annie.’
        • ‘He points out that the 1990s saw a cluster of unusually destructive floods in Scotland.’
        • ‘As Dan points out, this is a recipe for identity theft, and in no meaningful way can be said to increase security.’
        • ‘He pointed out that on those occasions' police directed motorists to the car park.’
        • ‘As Councillor Ralph Berry rightly points out, vandalism can knock the heart out of a community.’
        • ‘Michael says isolation can be a problem for single parents, but points out that help is available.’
        identify, show, designate, call attention to, draw attention to, direct attention to, indicate, specify, detail, mention, refer to, allude to, touch on
        View synonyms
  • point something up

    • Reveal the true nature or importance of something:

      ‘he did so much to point up their plight in the 1960s’
      • ‘Pointing up the severity of the challenge the aviation industry is currently facing, he said that at this moment, some routes were loss-making.’
      • ‘Although excellent entertainment for dyed-in-the-wool fans, the sameness of this series was pointed up when a really imaginative director was put to work on one of them.’
      • ‘Whenever any important motif appears, he points it up almost pedantically.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, those differences were not pointed up by the authors or editor.’
      • ‘If you notice anything very funny when around and about, or write something that you think deserves consideration for the award, then do feel free to point it up to me.’
      emphasize, highlight, draw attention to, accentuate, underline, underscore, turn the spotlight on, spotlight, foreground, lay emphasis on, put emphasis on, stress, give prominence to, play up, focus attention on, accent, bring to the fore
      View synonyms


Middle English: the noun partly from Old French point, from Latin punctum something that is pricked, giving rise to the senses ‘unit, mark, point in space or time’; partly from Old French pointe, from Latin puncta pricking, giving rise to the senses ‘sharp tip, promontory’. The verb is from Old French pointer, and in some senses from the English noun.