Definition of pointer in English:



  • 1A long, thin piece of metal on a scale or dial which moves to indicate a figure or position.

    ‘if the pointer moves right, the wind is from the right’
    • ‘The old scale was analog, with a dial and a pointer that waggled a bit unless you stood perfectly still.’
    • ‘Toyota has slashed Camry's lead content by reformulating undercoating, greases, bronze alloys and taking lead out of meter pointers, connections and heater cores.’
    • ‘At the bottom of each there are a number of blank code spaces, and a pointer is set to indicate one of these on each item.’
    • ‘The shadow cast by the sun on a horizontal surface, such as the ground, moves clockwise around the pointer, but this time it varies in length during the day.’
    • ‘They can see how far they have moved the pointer as they go through the journey.’
    • ‘A scale and pointer indicated the relative angle.’
    • ‘Similarly if the box becomes lighter then the spring will lift the box up and the pointer will move up the scale.’
    • ‘The big disadvantage, and almost a dead give-away of this trick, is that the compass pointer moves in direct response to the movement and the proximity of your body!’
    • ‘The expanding diaphragm moves the pointer across a scale calibrated in feet above sea level.’
    • ‘The entire operation was accomplished by turning a handwheel until the pointer indicated the desired angle on the graduated scale on the pedestal.’
    indicator, needle, arrow, hand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A rod used for pointing to features on a map or chart.
      ‘men with maps and pointers demonstrate the path that the storm is taking’
      • ‘He tapped a spot on the map with the rubber tip of his pointer - the synthetic oil refinery at Odertal, Germany.’
      • ‘He's got one prop, an umbrella, and his dance exhausts its every use: as a cane, a pointer, a balancer on the tightrope of a curb, a cyclotron whirling him inside a whirlwind.’
      • ‘She pointed her pointer on the map and moved it over to Japan.’
      • ‘If someone arrives with large charts and pointers, where does it stop?’
      • ‘Some star charts are drawn with the pointers to help locate objects above.’
      • ‘Using a pistol, automatic weapon, and space gun as pointers, he highlighted places of American interest on the map.’
      • ‘To help him work with the predominantly non-English-speaking crew, he was given a laser pointer.’
      stick, rod, cane, pole, laser pointer, cursor
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A hint as to what might happen in the future.
      ‘the figures were a pointer to gradual economic recovery’
      • ‘How he fares might give us a little pointer to his long-term Ireland future.’
      • ‘United's eventual 6-5 defeat on aggregate to Real was painful and a pointer to where Ferguson will devote his energies, and money, next season.’
      • ‘Eye contact fosters trust and understanding and hence is a pointer to the quality of future interaction you may have with someone.’
      • ‘Manningham Mills is a grand old reminder of Bradford's historic industrial past, but with the hard work of all involved it could and should be a pointer to a bright future for the city.’
      • ‘And to me it's like a map of some epic struggle between individuality and conformity - a wee multi-coloured pointer to the future of art.’
      • ‘The past is more than relevant, but it is never a pointer to the future.’
      • ‘The Golden Globes, voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are seen as a pointer to this year's Oscars, and were held just two days before Oscar nominations are announced.’
      • ‘The junior tour was first held in 1978 and has proved a pointer to the future stars in cycling.’
      • ‘Mellon is financially astute and his arrival on the share register was a pointer to possible developments in the future.’
      • ‘In a pointer to the future, business investment dropped to a growth rate of 4.7 percent compared to 14.5 percent in the previous quarter.’
      • ‘The idea is that the aggregated purchases and disposals by directors is the most reliable pointer to the future direction of the market.’
      • ‘The opening weeks of 2005 are giving a firm pointer to the increased competitiveness and dramatic developments that will shape the telecommunications sector this year.’
      • ‘One can only hope that this is not a pointer to the future.’
      • ‘Just as industrial America was for long the pointer to the world's economic future, so Australia was once a pointer to coming political institutions.’
      • ‘They buckled in 2000 in anticipation of the economic slump, and hopefully their resurgence now is a pointer to better things to come in the years ahead.’
      • ‘Both as a pointer to the future and as a spectacle in its own right, the Championships have produced a quality of football that had at least one viewer occasionally leaping from his armchair to applaud the action.’
      • ‘And is this fact no more than nostalgia or is it a pointer to what the future holds?’
      • ‘The sculpture would be a reminder of the past and the lights would represent a pointer to the future.’
      • ‘I do not know if I want to carry on with this but that is only a slight feeling and is no pointer to any future direction.’
      • ‘Dora Carrington was well beaten by Miranda in the Heinz 57 but perhaps that winner is very special indeed and if she runs on Sunday it will be an interesting pointer to the future claims of the Ballydoyle colt.’
      indication, indicator, clue, hint, lead, sign, signal, evidence, symptom, implication, intimation, inkling, suggestion
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A small piece of advice; a tip.
      ‘here are some pointers on how to go about the task’
      • ‘But I'm not disappointed, because I got some excellent and very complimentary feedback, plus some very useful pointers on how I can develop my skills.’
      • ‘Only he's probably going to need some pointers on where all the pieces go.’
      • ‘A dedicated family man, this black belt in karate and ace accordion player will both guide you through the process of clearing your debts and give you a couple of pointers on budgeting and personal finance to boot.’
      • ‘Before breaking camp at the base of the Root, your guide will give you pointers on crampon use and safe route-finding.’
      • ‘He gave her some pointers on bow technique on just the first three notes of the movement, which was really interesting to hear.’
      • ‘When you're with a bunch of people in a similar position, try not to hark back to the olden days - compare notes on what's working for them and you'll get loads of pointers on things you want, and don't want, to do.’
      • ‘If the Labour Government wants a few pointers on saving almost all of the $21 million it wants to spend on promoting the budget, it should get in touch with me.’
      • ‘Anyway, helpful soul that I am, I thought I'd offer some pointers on getting through this holiday season in one reasonably sane piece.’
      • ‘At the lecture, they showed us slides with some basic pointers on International Humanitarian Law accompanied by some gruesome pictures.’
      • ‘For example, this government publication gives pointers on navigating deserts and swimming rivers safely.’
      • ‘The inspectors have commended us for those efforts and have given us a couple of useful pointers on how to continue our improvements and we are already taking action on those.’
      • ‘From a relatively old article (at least in terms of webloggia's attention-span) comes some pointers on improving design through simplicity.’
      • ‘The pupils have spent the last 6 weeks attending an evening class, every Monday, learning new techniques and pointers on improving their photos.’
      • ‘Finally, well done to the Parents Association for organising a vet to come and talk to all the pupils last week and for giving them some very important pointers on keeping their pets healthy and happy.’
      • ‘Disguised in magazine format, this Bible is chock-full of fun facts, answers to questions you wanted to know but were afraid to ask, and pointers on how to live.’
      • ‘If anyone has any pointers on this, I'd love to hear them.’
      • ‘I made a good start actually, not sure of the quality of my analysis, but the whole point of this first assignment is that it is non-assessed to provide pointers on structure, style and content.’
      • ‘Did Karl want pointers on how he could bring Allen's bill to the big leagues?’
      • ‘They've been giving us pointers on how to conduct it, what not to do, etc.’
      • ‘With me playing the same position as her or whatever she would be giving me little pointers on the opposing team because they've been around and she's been around.’
      tip, hint, piece of advice, suggestion, guideline, recommendation, warning
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Computing
      ‘place the pointer in the box and click the mouse button’
      another term for cursor
      • ‘The idea is that as you roll your mouse pointer over the screen, the various function buttons will produce a response in the mouse that you can feel.’
      • ‘I emailed this person back, with a screenshot of my Start menu, with the mouse pointer pointing to the Printers folder at the top of the start menu.’
      • ‘She was repeatedly banging the mouse on the foam wrist-rest of the mouse pad, causing the pointer on the screen to stop half way down monitor.’
      • ‘If you have a wheel mouse try placing the pointer in the bottom scroll bar and playing with the wheel.’
      • ‘One guy called me and said he had to have a larger work desk, because he did not reach down to to left corner of the screen with his mouse pointer.’
    5. 1.5Computing A variable whose value is the address of another variable; a link.
      ‘another computer word holds a descriptor or pointer to an individual character’
      • ‘These identifiers will serve as pointers to the metadata information in the local system.’
      • ‘What that metadata harvesting protocol really is fundamentally, is a way for metadata and pointers to data to migrate from one system to another.’
      • ‘When the queue for that link reaches a pointer in the FIFO for that data packet, it is retrieved from memory and forwarded to its destination.’
      • ‘Strictly speaking, a null pointer, one of the most common errors in C programming, is a pointer with an uninitialised value.’
      • ‘The only back pointer available is the link to the original community.’
  • 2A dog of a breed that on scenting game stands rigid looking towards it.

    • ‘Ann Jones takes a selection of gun dogs including springer spaniels, german pointers and Labradors for a stroll during the fair.’
    • ‘She said she had bred pointers and kept budgerigars and fancied something different.’
    • ‘This guy, this kid, teaches his dog, a mongrel, to be a pointer, and his father hates the idea because he breeds pure-breeds.’
    • ‘Dr. Thornton was involved in more than just importing and breeding the German shorthaired pointer in those early years.’
    • ‘Greyhounds and pointers also often carry this extreme white gene.’
    • ‘It can be a timesaver to have a bird dog, a pointer in an unknown area.’
    • ‘Samantha Dyer, 14, of Sorrell Close, Goldhanger, has been breeding and showing pointers, with her mum, Sharon, since she was seven.’
    • ‘These are descriptions of good bird dogs or gun dogs - pointers and setters.’
    • ‘If there was one, it would be a dog, probably a pointer or a collie, and it would be trained so well it would probably die on command.’