Definition of pinpoint in US English:



  • A tiny dot or point.

    ‘a pinpoint of light from a flashlight’
    • ‘The laser actually vaporizes a pinpoint of your skin.’
    • ‘For this number, the black backdrop behind the stage is suddenly raised to its full height, and is illuminated up with thousands of tiny pinpoints of light.’
    • ‘With a pinpoint of light from a laser torch - in the old days they used lanterns - we plunged into the undergrowth.’
    • ‘Scanner's visual tracks 1 and 2 focus upon a pinpoint of pulsating light from which extend lines of variegated, rapidly changing colours.’
    • ‘It was a pinpoint of light but still it stood out from all the other stars, and it emitted a dull, orange glow.’
    • ‘Black pinpoints remained in the indentations on the small molars.’
    • ‘It was like tiny little pinpoints of touch, slamming into my entire body.’
    • ‘It almost seems to say that while mankind lived only on the Earth and that the heavens were just a few pinpoints of light, then that was the way the Universe actually was.’
    • ‘A pinpoint of light appeared, the light forming a cross, small and so far out of reach.’
    • ‘The stars in the night sky were revealed as pinpoints of light instead of fuzzy spheres with radiant spokes.’
    • ‘A tiny pinpoint of light was on the ceiling, reflected by someone's pen or glasses.’
    • ‘The only light in the room came from a lamp over the turntables, the glow of the broadcast board, and the green and red pinpoints of LED light from the satellite equipment and reel-to-reels.’
    • ‘The sky had darkened considerably since their leaving the meadow; bands of blue-black and deep purple traced themselves across the wide expanse, tiny pinpoints of light breaking through.’
    • ‘She felt a warm dot on her forehead, like a tiny pinpoint of light.’
    • ‘As the woman made to get off the boulder she was perched upon, a tiny pinpoint of yellow light flashed upon the horizon, something which was almost invisible.’
    • ‘Moving pinpoints of light were formed by water running down the side of the icicle, dangling from the end, and either freezing solid or being blown away by a gust of wind.’
    • ‘It hurtled through a void, an immense cathedral of black pitch, specked with faint pinpoints of light whose pale luminosity underscored the darkness that shrouded them.’
    • ‘In the middle of the blackness, there was a tiny pinpoint of light.’
    • ‘The energy constricted in a tiny pinpoint of fire, shot against his walls, and broke through!’
    • ‘They watched the bright, tiny pinpoints of light filling the black sky in a tremendous blaze of glory, shifting slowly as they rose, making and unmaking vast patterns that tickled Sara's imagination.’
    point, spot, speck, dot, fleck
    View synonyms


  • 1attributive Absolutely precise; to the finest degree.

    ‘this weapon fired shells with pinpoint accuracy’
    • ‘Veltrop swung the deadly blade with pinpoint accuracy severing the head of the attacker.’
    • ‘They not only have great pace but also take great running lines, pass the ball with pinpoint accuracy and come onto it from depth.’
    • ‘Some will be able to fire guns with pinpoint accuracy.’
    • ‘He picked up a ball inside his own 22, charged forward before kicking with pinpoint accuracy to the other end where the ball bounced into touch.’
    • ‘This echo from long ago makes me envious of the pinpoint accuracy with which Reston's paper was delivered.’
    • ‘Its metaphors will give a detailed map of the mind and often pinpoint precise reasons for problems experienced.’
    • ‘It is virtually impossible for a rifle to deliver pinpoint accuracy with a damaged crown.’
    • ‘Oxford's passing, spearheaded by Collier, was pinpoint in its accuracy.’
    • ‘Though Norman sings with a glorious range of tone and pinpoint accuracy, hers is a strangely uninvolved performance.’
    • ‘It's comfortable, remarkably light and alarmingly easy to use, and what it lacks in pinpoint accuracy it makes up for in rate of fire.’
    • ‘They became experts at reducing multi-storey monstrosities to a haze of concrete with pinpoint accuracy.’
    • ‘Last season, he looked as though his arm was dead and his pinpoint accuracy was missing.’
    • ‘He gave a flawless performance inspiring confidence by his pinpoint accuracy.’
    • ‘Additionally, the Bombardier Beetle has the ability to direct its defensive spray toward its aggressor with pinpoint accuracy.’
    • ‘The administration wants to minimize civilian casualties through pinpoint attacks using high-tech precision weapons.’
    • ‘Hamelin's pinpoint accuracy and sure-handed excellence continued in this contemplative, sprawling piece.’
    • ‘The steering was absolutely pinpoint precise, and in the slalom test you could slide by the cones with an inch to spare very easily.’
    • ‘The maps below illustrate, with pinpoint accuracy, just how much of Sark I've covered on my travels.’
    • ‘The design of the weapon has changed considerably since then and the bullets can be fired from a range of around 20 metres with pinpoint accuracy.’
    • ‘With a target centre the size of a 10-cent piece it needed pinpoint accuracy to win.’
    precise, strict, rigorous, meticulous, scrupulous, punctilious
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Tiny.
      ‘a pinpoint laser beam’


[with object]
  • Find or locate exactly.

    ‘one flare had pinpointed the target’
    ‘it is difficult to pinpoint the source of his life's inspiration’
    • ‘Yet another respondent pinpoints Taylor's offhand indictment of ‘older feminists’ as the basis for her ire.’
    • ‘As it turns out, Norm's palate was unfailing, and he had accurately pinpointed the source of his starter.’
    • ‘So Mum told her about the pages from the phone book found beside each murder victim, seemingly pinpointing the identity of the killer's next target.’
    • ‘Hubbert calculated this with accuracy for the US, pinpointing the 1970s as the zenith of production.’
    • ‘With no little trepidation, he ran a diagnostic, pinpointing the alarm, and called up the sequence that had triggered it.’
    • ‘I hope the intelligences would be more accurate in pinpointing the real criminals instead of harassing innocents.’
    • ‘His election literature pinpoints experience, service to the community, leadership and vision as the attributes which, he hopes, will propel him into Dáil Éireann this time around.’
    • ‘With cesium, pinpointing the erosion's source is difficult because there's no differentiation among sites of origin.’
    • ‘Up ahead, the Challengers are pinpointing their targets, 120 mm guns taking aim.’
    • ‘But until the interference brought on by her shift clears, I'll have a difficult time pinpointing her location.’
    • ‘The village's sewage works has been pinpointed as the source of the infestation.’
    • ‘Speaking at the scene, he said new information about the location of the youth's body had been received, pinpointing the two possible spots.’
    • ‘He said the guidelines were unique as they pinpointed gaps in emergency care and identified what needed to be done.’
    • ‘The explosives were hidden inside a sock and police also found several maps pinpointing sensitive targets, including a nearby Nato base.’
    • ‘So too the Israeli soldiers, pinpointing their targets amid the destroyed homes.’
    • ‘Among them was a stone slab pinpointing the spot where the Buddha was born was discovered in the shrine.’
    • ‘The spot was pinpointed and assessed by local police for security.’
    • ‘New antiviral drugs are being developed but would best be used if and when a rapid method of diagnosis pinpointing the specific viral cause is available.’
    • ‘Most of the times, pinpointing the exact spot of the leak takes long.’
    • ‘Lessons of IVF babies mix-up ‘will be learned’ Report pinpoints series of failures at Yorkshire fertility clinic where white couple had mixed-race twins in error’
    identify, discover, determine, distinguish, find, locate, detect, track down, run to earth, spot, diagnose, recognize, name, single out, pick out, pin down, home in on, zero in on, nail down, put one's finger on
    View synonyms