Definition of point in English:



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

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

    • ‘When elements are removed from inside a word or phrase, but nothing is taken from the end, a full point is often omitted.’
    • ‘Footnote numbering in the text should be placed after the full point at the end of a sentence.’
    • ‘Every punctuation point had better be right.’
    1. 2.1A 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.’
      • ‘All our households across the country use about one point eight trillion litres of water.’
      • ‘Six point nine percent, that's a nine-year high.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 2.2A dot or small stroke used in the alphabets of Semitic languages to indicate vowels or distinguish particular consonants.
      • ‘The vowel is sometimes written; and at others it is expressed by the point above the consonant.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 2.3A very small dot or mark on a surface.
      ‘the sky was studded with points of light’
      • ‘There are new frontiers in the thousands of points of light in the heavens above our precious blue planet.’
      • ‘From that terracing came a continual glinting of points of light as innumerable cigarettes were lit.’
      • ‘When he closed his eyes he could see two points of light, far away for now but rushing towards him nonetheless.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even with a good pair of binoculars, stars still appear as points of light.’
      • ‘The feeble point of light to the right of the star is the newly found cold companion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sparkling drops of dew were bright points of light upon her skin.’
      • ‘The points of light are collected and used to reconstruct a 3D digital image.’
      • ‘Small yellow dots, which look like points of light, appear on the black ground.’
      • ‘Who among us wouldn't want to be compared to one of these mysterious, attractive points of light?’
      • ‘Most wonderfully, he knew that the points of light were stars, and he knew how far away they were.’
      • ‘Millions of points of light scatter across the sky and are reflected in the waters below.’
      • ‘The first displays were very primitive using only points of light created in the laboratory.’
      • ‘The trusty chandelier is also an ideal way to increase the number of points of light.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Five points of light appeared, all focused around each one of his finger tips.’
      • ‘This was made of stone, beneath a sky dark and featureless except for faint points of light that might be stars.’
      • ‘It was a gorgeous evening, and the city shone from a million points of light.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 Apple Grove’
    ‘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.’
    • ‘Most of the smuggling cases detected previously at border control points had involved lorries instead of coaches.’
    • ‘Acupuncture treatment is administered at specific points or sites on the body.’
    • ‘Information is gathered from a multitude of sources including surface observation points, ships, buoys and aircraft.’
    • ‘Our facility has been designated as a drop off point for relief supplies.’
    • ‘These bridges are long because they cross rivers at the point where they empty into the sea.’
    • ‘Pedestrians should also remember to use the official crossing points at busy junctions.’
    • ‘Soldiers were positioned at strategic points in the city and at election rallies where huge crowds gathered.’
    • ‘By sunset, she'd looped back to one of the highest points in the park, not far from where we'd started.’
    • ‘However, enhanced controls at points of entry into the country continue to remain in place.’
    • ‘The site is located at a point between two major river systems, the Mersey and Dee, with open access to the Irish Sea.’
    • ‘The council is also proposing to close a gap in a nearby pedestrian guardrail to stop people crossing at a dangerous point.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was a mountainous country but also one with several points of easy entry for English armies and settlers.’
    • ‘People can hand in their unused glasses and sunglasses at a number of collection points in the area.’
    • ‘Being one of the highest points in the area, it is considered to be a sacred grove.’
    • ‘In the park's early days, pine trees were planted on the higher points of the park.’
    • ‘It said that the investigators conducted 783 tests at screening points and other areas of airport security.’
    • ‘Using your fingers to apply pressure to specific points on your body can ease symptoms.’
    place, position, location, site, spot, area, locality, locale
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    1. 3.1A particular moment in time or stage in a process.
      ‘from this point onward, the teacher was completely won over’
      • ‘Additional percussion is also provided by the chorus which claps specific patterns at certain points in the music.’
      • ‘He levelled the game at the midway point in the second half.’
      • ‘At one point in the night we went for over forty minutes without a single customer.’
      • ‘From the point of conception onwards, parents are now viewed as a risk factor in their children's lives.’
      • ‘This type of system is in common usage worldwide but up until this point had not been available in Ireland, the bank said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are three points in this process at which learning can potentially play a role.’
      • ‘Of particular note is the visual montage that comes at the halfway point of the film.’
      • ‘The road was closed for three hours at one point and only reopened fully at midnight.’
      • ‘Many people do not notice a problem with their vision until this point, or assume a poor vision is part of getting older.’
      • ‘Up until this point, my main focus had been on getting to the event and getting there on time.’
      • ‘At what point does a good idea become compromised by the thought of how best to make money?’
      • ‘At some point, the decision about whether or not to stay in acting has to be faced.’
      • ‘At some point during that long night they took a decision - and headed north.’
      • ‘Up until this point almost all swords were heavy and required more strength than skill to maneuver.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We haven't even reached the halfway point in the season yet and you're tipping us for disaster.’
      • ‘I think the lowest point was when the insurance company sent in forensics experts to check if the fire was arson.’
      time, stage, juncture, period, phase
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    2. 3.2The 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.’
      • ‘Conversation ceases to resolve the internal contention between characters, words fail and the conflict comes to the point.’
      • ‘He talks and talks, but when it comes to the point he either does nothing or he's just evasive.’
      decisive moment, critical moment, moment of truth, point of no return, crunch, crux, zero hour
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    3. 3.3The verge or brink of (doing or being something)
      ‘she was on the point of leaving’
      • ‘Sometimes, however, you only realise how valuable an object is when you are on the point of losing it.’
      • ‘The club last night appeared to be on the point of calling in the receivers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His feet were blistered and his legs were on the point of collapse.’
      • ‘If I read this latest letter correctly, I am on the point of losing the right to drive.’
      • ‘The police had now regrouped and were on the point of pinning down the huge bald man.’
      • ‘Relief was clear because the tour had seemed on the point of foundering.’
      • ‘It was obvious he was on the point of collapse.’
      • ‘They were on the point of collapse from thirst.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The national companies were in financial crisis and the ballet was on the point of closure.’
      • ‘He was not on the point of death, nor even in the process of dying.’
      • ‘Once-common bird species like the skylark and lapwing are on the point of disappearing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The other motorist slowed down just when she was on the point of braking, allowing her the right of way.’
      • ‘I was on the point of leaving when the postman called bearing an invoice from the bicycle suppliers.’
      • ‘This had a serious impact on morale and many teachers were on the point of leaving their jobs.’
      • ‘It is patently obvious that the health service is on the point of collapse.’
      • ‘As he stood there on the point of committing suicide, he felt a hand on his arm.’
      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.
      ‘it is packed to the bursting point’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Festival reaches climax point on Sunday with something for all the family.’
      • ‘You just want to lie and luxuriate in it, to soak up the sound until you reach bursting point.’
      • ‘The lads were at mutiny point by now and we reached the top of the climb not a moment too soon.’
      • ‘The company appears to be on target to hit a cashflow break-even point by the end of the year.’
      • ‘The breakeven point in our budget though looks remarkably close to the market value of my South London home.’
      level, degree, stage, pitch, extent, height
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    5. 3.5(in geometry) something having position but not spatial extent, magnitude, dimension, or direction, for example the intersection of two lines.
      • ‘The arrow in Fig.4A denotes the point of intersection used for sensitivity analyses.’
      • ‘The points of intersection of the three lines located the centers of mass.’
      • ‘By joining all the points of tangency we construct a line ABC, which is an output expansion path.’
      • ‘By joining the points of intersection between price and amount of X consumed at that price, we trace out a demand curve.’
      • ‘Every point on these lines has the same properties as the end-point on the N border.’
    6. 3.6British [with modifier]A wall outlet or jack.
      ‘a telephone point’
      • ‘Power points are in place and there are internet connections in all rooms.’
      • ‘All units will be wired for an alarm and have telephone and television points in the lounge and master bedroom.’
      • ‘We were in a metal box with gas bottles, connected to an electrical hook-up point.’
      • ‘You should always seek professional advice before having an outside power point installed.’
      • ‘It has built-in double wardrobes as well as telephone and television points.’
      • ‘The larger room has a television point and plenty of space for a study desk or additional storage units.’
      • ‘One of the garages has automatic doors while both are heated and fitted with power points.’
      • ‘A fast wireless access point means you can connect your laptop to the machine and roam around the house.’
      • ‘Upstairs, all three bedrooms have television points or telephone facilities.’
      • ‘Each apartment has a balcony or a patio with decking, as well as a basement storage compartment with electrical points.’
      • ‘Instead, electrical plug points have been helpfully provided in every compartment.’
      • ‘There is also a potting shed and a large workshop with electric points.’
      • ‘Mounting your access point on the wall, away from your desktop, will improve your network's speed.’
      • ‘There is gas-fired central heating throughout and television and telephone points in all rooms.’
      • ‘All waste is recycled, within reason, and even cars can be recharged at power points dotted around the complex.’
      • ‘I keep my freezer and my fridge out there, trailing extension leads to the power points in the kitchen.’
      • ‘The rear garden is in lawn and has a timber shed with electrical points and plumbing for utilities.’
      • ‘This meant that there was electric light in the kitchen, but no power point for a radio.’
      • ‘There is also a purpose-built storage shed with power points and wall units.’
      • ‘The drawings also show electrical points for television equipment, speakers and telephones in the pool surround.’
  • 4A single item or detail in an extended discussion, list, or text.

    ‘you ignore a number of important points’
    • ‘And what would be the main points of similarity between these two great cities?’
    • ‘He gives a summary of some of the main points which were discussed.’
    • ‘Some may not care, but many people I know are signing up without reading or understanding the implications of the above three points.’
    • ‘Similarly, it is better to paraphrase points made above, rather than repeat them word for word.’
    • ‘You should keep the following points particularly in mind, and may wish at this point to look again at the Claim Questionnaire.’
    • ‘None of them was concerned with the specific point which arises in this case.’
    • ‘Curiously, there is no attempt to integrate these points into the main body of the text.’
    • ‘Bulleted lists of key points at the end of each chapter provide an excellent review for students.’
    • ‘The guidelines aren't specific enough on some points.’
    • ‘However, it is important to make some specific points clear.’
    • ‘He has written to me courteously and in great detail, explaining technical points about the way his site works.’
    • ‘One of the key points is increasing resident participation.’
    • ‘He was reluctant to be drawn into any detailed discussion of this point.’
    • ‘Again, ideas on this matter vary between cultures, but a few general points seem clear.’
    • ‘The main points of interest on the three deck levels are the railings, lifeboat davits and companionways.’
    • ‘The Court grants special leave to appeal on the two points which I just indicated.’
    • ‘We will just retire for a moment to consider these points.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This study came under sharp criticism on many points, including its lack of rigorous controls.’
    • ‘Vary your tone of voice to punctuate important points, and keep it moving to capture interest.’
    detail, item, particular, fact, thing, piece of information, idea, argument, consideration, factor, element, aspect, regard, respect
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    1. 4.1An argument or idea put forward by a person in discussion.
      ‘he made the point that economic regulation involves controls on pricing’
      • ‘Mr Davie made the point that the low paid and many elderly people are particularly hard hit by double figure rises in council tax.’
      • ‘Some of Jonathan's points cross over with some of my research interests.’
      • ‘Two particular points in your article do not stand up to any scrutiny.’
      • ‘We will use some examples of this sort of work to illustrate our points.’
      • ‘There are, however, counter-arguments to many of the above points.’
      • ‘They put their ideas and points across very eloquently.’
      • ‘He made some very valid points in his argument.’
      • ‘At the time, I had no idea what his point was, and I didn't particularly care.’
      • ‘Indeed, the police made the point that the victim could have been ‘any one of us on a night out’.’
      • ‘If we sold it for more than we paid into it, we could prove our point.’
      • ‘Surely, there is a limit to the amount of times you can repeat yourself, just to prove a point?’
      • ‘Several made the point that with inflation remaining low, it was not enough to sit on your investments.’
      • ‘Although some points have since been challenged and corrected, the basis of his studies remains unchanged.’
      • ‘The district auditor has made the point that he is independent of the council.’
      • ‘He/she who needs to resort to violence to prove a point, has a poor argument.’
      • ‘He also made the point that farmers are not aware of the Social Welfare entitlements they might have.’
      • ‘He made the point that intelligent bowlers did not chuck every ball.’
      • ‘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. 4.2The significant or essential element of what is intended or being discussed.
      ‘it took her a long time to come to the point’
      • ‘Surely the point is that rules and guidelines like this are to be applauded whatever the source.’
      • ‘The whole point of the Oslo process was to settle differences in a peaceful manner.’
      • ‘The time in New York is five hours behind the time in London, and so on, but that's not the point.’
      • ‘On the subject of Betty's harrowing death, again he seems to miss the point.’
      • ‘The whole point of her character was that she was a tough survivor.’
      • ‘Whatever its deficiencies, the point was that it was inclusive, not divisive.’
      • ‘The point is that he had the opportunity to change the rules and he left it too late.’
      • ‘Supposedly, the point is that the public can see the people behind the public persona.’
      • ‘To argue that the world of 1919 was worse than that of 1914 is to miss the point.’
      • ‘So regardless of who gets put in charge, the point is that someone needs to be in charge.’
      • ‘The architect later wrote to say that yes, the cement would probably outlast all of them, but that was not quite the point.’
      • ‘To understand the point of the arts, you really have to imagine a society where everything to do with the arts is taken away.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Grant says the point is that no one knows what it's like to be Lauren or what's going on inside her head.’
      • ‘More broadly, the point is that political philosophy is only one part of politics.’
      • ‘The whole point in this particular case was that she was not simply doing the duties of a merchandiser.’
      • ‘I think the point is that you need to be not only strategic but tactical as well.’
      • ‘He has been having a quiet tournament, but the point is that he has not been trying to take centre stage.’
      • ‘The whole point of a conservation area is to conserve, not to dig it up whenever it is convenient.’
      • ‘Anyway, the point is that this method cannot be universally relied upon.’
      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's no point in buying a new dishwasher just as you're about to move house.’
      • ‘There's no point in trying to take them for money because they don't have any.’
      • ‘There is no point in denying the language in Shakespeare is problematic.’
      • ‘There seems little point in criticising the approach that others take to the dilemma.’
      • ‘There's no point in being an artist if your goal is to produce the same thing for your entire career.’
      • ‘It's not that I even really understand the point of using conditioner anyway.’
      • ‘There's no point in being the most skilful player, if you can't keep yourself on the field of play.’
      • ‘What is the point of drawing up plans if they're not going to be adhered to?’
      • ‘There is no need to stock up on supplies - and no point buying a gas mask.’
      • ‘Joanna sees no point in lying about her age but she wouldn't hesitate having cosmetic surgery if she felt she needed it.’
      • ‘The Board say that there is no point testing or treating anyone who has eaten these products if they are well.’
      • ‘What's the point in discussing that if we both know the answers inside out?’
      • ‘Is there any point inviting comments when planning objections are submitted?’
      • ‘There is no point in moaning about it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What's the point of having two features that do the same thing?’
      • ‘There is absolutely no point in fighting the election unless we take all of these factors on board.’
      • ‘There's no point in splashing out on expensive designer gear if your skin is as rough as sandpaper.’
      • ‘But if the replacement works just as well then what was the point of the decision in the first place?’
      • ‘There's really no point in showing mainstream movies that are better viewed on the big screen.’
      purpose, aim, object, objective, goal, intention, end, design, reason, use, utility, sense, motive, value, advantage
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    4. 4.4Relevance or effectiveness.
      • ‘As well as giving point to the subject, experience of algebraic representation is crucial if pupils are to understand and use precise algebraic language.’
      • ‘His remarks were always full of point, clearness, and good sense.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 4.5A distinctive feature or characteristic, typically a good one, of a person or thing.
      ‘he has his good points’
      • ‘It's positive points are much more plentiful than its negative ones.’
      • ‘The spacious master bedroom is on the top floor and should prove a key selling point.’
      • ‘There seemed to be good and bad points about every single one of them.’
      • ‘A simple, elegant arbor is the focal point at one end of the garden.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They may want to create rich characters that have good points as well as bad ones.’
      • ‘The reception rooms, large garden and garage are likely to prove key selling points.’
      attribute, characteristic, feature, trait, quality, property, aspect, facet, side
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  • 5(in sports and games) a mark or unit of scoring.

    ‘he scored 13 of his team's final 19 points against Houston’
    • ‘To score 17 points in a game, and still lose, is a very bitter pill to swallow.’
    • ‘Leitrim led by six points at half-time.’
    • ‘If they can garner 19 points in the process they will also seal the championship.’
    • ‘He was captain of the basketball team and set a school record by scoring 22 points in a game.’
    • ‘City lie in tenth place in Division Three, just three points of the play-off positions and just five points off third place.’
    • ‘Argentina took an early lead but trailed by a point at the break.’
    • ‘They played extremely well and were unlucky to be beaten by a single point.’
    • ‘Four minutes later he stroked his second point majestically with the outside of his right boot.’
    • ‘He also chipped in with two splendid points at vital stages of the game.’
    • ‘Indeed they fell further behind and trailed by 11 points with just five minutes remaining.’
    • ‘The loss of two points even at this stage in the season could well be vital.’
    • ‘Given greater composure, they could have scored more tries and thus gained a bonus point.’
    • ‘His side were in complete control and at one stage led by seventeen points.’
    • ‘They established a lead at the top of the table which at one stage reached thirteen points.’
    • ‘Belgium are currently on top on 14 points with Croatia and Scotland next in line on 11 points each.’
    • ‘The winner is the one who is left with the most points from the remaining three judges.’
    • ‘He kicked two vital points from play when they were needed most.’
    • ‘It was just so disappointing to lose the playoff by a single point.’
    • ‘This was close fight and would have been even tighter without the points deducted.’
    • ‘Did you set out to get as many points as possible during qualifying?’
    1. 5.1(in craps) the combination total of the two thrown dice (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) that permits a shooter to keep throwing until he or she throws the same number again and wins.
      • ‘The second round resolves with a point being rolled or a seven.’
      • ‘The total is six, which becomes the ‘Point’.’
    2. 5.2A unit used in measuring value, achievement, or extent.
      ‘the shares index was down seven points’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Outperformance of the benchmark was a handsome 7.1 percentage points per year.’
      • ‘However, the news isn't all good: gross margins slipped by 0.3 percentage points year on year.’
      • ‘Rates are down some 2 percentage points compared to the end of last 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.’
      • ‘The figure represents an increase of 7.7 percentage points from last year.’
      • ‘In August, the retail trade business climate indicator rose 2.2 points compared to July.’
      • ‘Today's figures represent a net decline of seven points for the President in the past three days.’
      • ‘By contrast, the prices of new houses and apartments have risen by only a few percentage points so far this year.’
      • ‘Feeling relieved that your premiums inched up only a few percentage points?’
      • ‘Eight of the previous 10 rate cuts the Fed has made this year have been by half a percentage point.’
      • ‘His vote has fallen by up to 10 percentage points over the last couple of weeks.’
      • ‘That trend was kept up until a week ago when, during that period, the Brady bonds gained three to four percentage points.’
      • ‘The polls had a margin of error of four percentage points.’
      • ‘The party is also down four percentage points on the 1991 local elections.’
      • ‘The quarter percentage point rise alone is unlikely to push your finances over the edge.’
      • ‘However, the final poll on election day was wrong by about 1.5 to 2 percentage points.’
      • ‘Last year one child did not achieve level four in English, dragging the mark down by four percentage points.’
    3. 5.3An advantage or success in an argument or discussion.
      ‘she smiled, assuming she had won her 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.’
      • ‘I could go on, but I think I've made my point.’
    4. 5.4A unit of credit toward an award or benefit.
      • ‘He moved on to study for a B.A. and has completed 54 points towards his degree - more than half way.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If she receives the required points, Deirdre hopes to study Forensic Science.’
      • ‘I wouldn't let a few points off of my credit score keep me from purchasing a home.’
      • ‘Then let your child trade his earned points for privileges, like extra playtime.’
      • ‘This was below the passing level of 60 points and even lower than the 58 points assessed last year.’
      • ‘For every special initiative they are credited with further points.’
    5. 5.5A percentage of the profits from a movie or recording offered to certain people involved in its production.
      • ‘The percentage involvement reflects a hierarchy, so the director of photography has more points than the clapper loader.’
      • ‘Because he is a producer as well as an actor you can be sure he has points in the film.’
      • ‘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.’
    6. 5.6A punishment imposed by the courts for a driving offense and recorded cumulatively on a person's driver's license.
      ‘operating under the influence meant ten points marked up against the driver’
      • ‘I can, at long last, get twelve points on my driving licence.’
      • ‘Magistrates fined him £100 and endorsed his licence with three penalty points.’
      • ‘A few weeks later and your fixed penalty fine lands on your doormat, along with 3 points on your precious driving licence.’
      • ‘He already had nine points for previous speeding convictions.’
      • ‘He was given three points on his driving licence for speeding.’
      • ‘I'll get a sixty pound fine and three points on my license.’
      • ‘Riders charged with driving offences can be fined and receive points on their driving licence even if they are not old enough to hold one.’
      • ‘Kev is appearing in court on Monday having reached 12 points on his driving licence.’
      • ‘So instead he was given a hefty fine and three points on his licence for failing to identify the driver of his vehicle.’
      • ‘His case came up nearly six months later and he was facing $200 in fines and points on his license.’
      • ‘Neither of his supervisors, who had been working on his house, had any points on their driving licences.’
      • ‘The only legal way to have points removed from your licence is to wait 3 years until they expire.’
      • ‘In return the points for the infraction do not appear on your driving record.’
    7. 5.7A unit of weight (one hundredth of a carat, or 2 mg) for diamonds.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A 100 point diamond might cost three times as much as a 50 point diamond.’
    8. 5.8A unit of varying value, used in quoting the price of stocks, bonds, or futures.
      • ‘The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day just 6 points higher at 10,887.’
      • ‘When message boards first took off in the mid 90s, postings like that could send stock up or down several points in a day.’
      • ‘On Wednesday, the Dow surged by 500 points, its second-biggest one-day gain in history.’
      • ‘A supreme court defeat would wipe four or five points off the price of the bond in a day.’
      • ‘It seems hard to believe that just a short year ago the Nasdaq was over 5,000 points and climbing.’
    9. 5.9Bridge 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 a hand.
      • ‘Usually it is permitted to look at your side's tricks, to check how many card points you have.’
      • ‘The result of the hand depends on the number of card points won by the opponents.’
      • ‘After a claim, the claiming player's tricks are exposed and the card points are counted.’
      • ‘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.’
    10. 5.10(in piquet) the longest suit in a player's hand, containing a specified number of up to eight cards.
      • ‘The number of cards in the suit is announced (e.g. ‘point of 5’) and it scores this number.’
      • ‘If the Elder has at least four cards in a suit, he may make a declaration. For example, ‘Point of four’.’
  • 6Each of thirty-two directions marked at equal distances around a compass.

    • ‘She licked the pad and pressed it onto the glass next to the compass point.’
    • ‘Arrayed around it like points on the compass rose were sections of the house.’
    • ‘It had a huge screen, curved around four seats, each facing in the way of their own compass points, it seemed.’
    • ‘Turn the map until the North point on the compass card points East or West of the lubber line.’
    • ‘I hardly take note of the geometrical dimensions of the table or its spatial location with respect to the points of the compass.’
    1. 6.1The corresponding direction toward the horizon.
      • ‘After missing a couple of early sighters, Carter kicked goals from all points of the compass.’
      • ‘Ordinary pilgrims from all points of the compass purchase religious amulets and books.’
      • ‘At various distances and points of the compass, he could see other men holding red and white striped poles.’
      • ‘The wind appeared to blow from all points of the compass at once, a trick of which Dublin winds have the secret.’
      • ‘Having taken in the view from all points of the compass, I was about to leave when I spotted some pay phones.’
    2. 6.2The angular interval between two successive points of a compass, i.e., one eighth of a right angle (11° 15ʹ)
    3. 6.3Unspecified places considered in terms of their direction from a specified place.
      ‘they headed down I-95 to Philadelphia and points south’
      • ‘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 a lake or ocean.

    ‘the boat came around the point’
    [in names] ‘Sandy Point’
    • ‘I walked alone south along the beach toward Cape Point.’
    • ‘We'll go back around the point and into that last small bight we passed on our way here.’
    • ‘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.’
    promontory, headland, head, foreland, cape, peninsula, bluff, ness, horn, bill
    View synonyms
  • 8British

    another term for switch
  • 9Printing
    A unit of measurement for type sizes and spacing, which in the US and UK is one twelfth of a pica, or 0.013835 inch (0.351 mm), and in Europe is 0.015 inch (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.’
  • 10Basketball
    A position at the front of the court, usually manned by the guard who sets up the team's defense.

    • ‘A good point guard knows how to control the pace or tempo of the game.’
    • ‘Feature of the game was a whopping 28 points from point guard Karen Mealey.’
    • ‘Typically, shooting guards are taller than point guards and more athletic.’
    1. 10.1Ice Hockey Either of two areas in each attacking zone, just inside the blue line where it meets the boards.
      • ‘She skated in from her position at the point to collect a pass in the right circle.’
      • ‘He was robbed of what looked a certain goal when he moved in from the point was stopped by a big block.’
      • ‘Usually the players at the two points are the defensemen.’
  • 11Each of a set of electrical contacts in the distributor of a motor vehicle.

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

    • ‘He sent three of his men ahead as a ‘point’.’
    • ‘They were advancing slowly in three points across the Realm, wiping out anything that stood against them.’
    1. 12.1North American The position at the head of a column or wedge of troops.
      ‘another marine said he would walk point because I had done it on the last patrol’
      • ‘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
  • 13The extremities of an animal, typically a horse or cat, such as the face, paws, and tail of a Siamese cat.

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

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

    • ‘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.’
  • 17The 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.

    Compare with counterpoint
    • ‘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 to the position or direction of something, typically by extending one's finger.

    ‘the boys were nudging each other and pointing at me’
    ‘he gripped her arm and pointed to the seat’
    ‘it's rude to point’
    • ‘‘Go stand over there,’ her father directed, pointing at one of the flowerpots.’
    • ‘She noticed a pair of children pointing at her and nudging each other.’
    • ‘He turned his attention to me, pointing at me carefully.’
    • ‘Before he left the room, Roth pointed down the hall towards the bathroom.’
    • ‘She pointed straight ahead of them, but over to the right a bit.’
    • ‘He had managed to distract the man's attention by pointing at something behind his back.’
    • ‘Her arm was held out with one slender finger pointing towards the door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One 1927 ad shows fingers pointing at the shoulders of a man wearing a dark suit.’
    • ‘He opens a candy bar, shoves it into his mouth, and points towards the table.’
    • ‘He pointed down the hallway to her right where one of the staircases were.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Trent flung his arm out, pointing at the buffalo.’
    • ‘‘There you go, again,’ he said, his finger pointing at the pictures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘The office is down that way,’ he pointed down a hallway.’
    1. 1.1[with adverbial of direction]Indicate a particular time, direction, or reading.
      ‘a sign pointing left’
      • ‘There are lots of arrows pointing in different directions.’
      • ‘A Scottish Rights of Way Society sign points the direction and a track leads through a gate above the waters of the Callater Burn.’
      • ‘We reverse down another road and see a sign for the Forest but it's pointing in another direction entirely.’
      • ‘Consumer spending indicators are pointing down.’
      • ‘The earth's magnetic field now points south, meaning that a compass needle points north.’
      • ‘He sees a sign pointing the way to a toilet down the corridor.’
      • ‘At Castle Place the Coney Island sign is pointing in the wrong direction which must be very confusing for visitors.’
      • ‘They all now came down to a brown old sign that pointed in two directions.’
      • ‘The twigs formed a large arrow pointing in the direction of the signal tree.’
      • ‘A Scottish cycle route sign pointed the way and we decided to take some pictures.’
      • ‘At one point, I realise I am heading at right angles to the direction a tourist sign is pointing.’
      • ‘There are a few pathetic road signs pointing in the general direction and some small signs at the outlet village.’
    2. 1.2[with object]Direct or aim (something) at someone or something.
      ‘he pointed the flashlight beam at the floor’
      • ‘Someone pointed a flashlight straight to the sky, enticing moths to flutter through the beam.’
      • ‘He pointed the microphone at the crowd for the final chorus.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I pointed the light into the vent again, but still saw nothing.’
      • ‘‘We had better go and see if anyone's been hurt,’ Cate said, pointing the torch back up towards the bombsite.’
      • ‘As soon as the pair saw him, they pointed a sawn-off double barrelled shotgun and a handgun at him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's a truck parked on a hill pointing its lights at me.’
      • ‘The soldiers quickly took cover, pointing their weapons from behind street corners built of honey-coloured stone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was pointing his finger up at her.’
      • ‘‘Back away,’ Floyd directed, pointing a large stick of chalk at Kyle.’
      • ‘He feared for his own life when the gunman pointed the weapon at him and pulled the trigger.’
      • ‘Two men burst into the crowded shop and one pointed the weapon at staff and customers.’
      • ‘Then he pointed the gun straight up in the air and pulled the trigger.’
      • ‘The man smiled, and pointed his gun up into the air.’
      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’
      • ‘Many of last year's perennials still have dead flower stalks pointing skyward.’
      • ‘Four giant white spotlights were illuminated from the top of each gantry, pointing upwards towards the sky.’
      • ‘The jury foreman said: ‘The gun was pointing in the direction of the police officer.’’
      • ‘At night, you could see four searchlights pointing directly upwards to indicate the corner of the neutral zone.’
      • ‘My feet are set about shoulder width, the toes pointed slightly outward.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The poles were pointing outward at an angle to stop any invaders from coming closer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They're finishing off the security system, which includes an elaborate set of cameras pointing in every direction.’
      • ‘Seconds later, a thunderous explosion sounded and cattle that were pointed towards water now bolted away from the explosion.’
    4. 1.4[with adverbial]Cite or put forward a fact or situation as evidence of something.
      ‘he points to several factors supporting this conclusion’
      • ‘They point to the plans for increased public spending as an indication of what might lie ahead.’
      • ‘He points to the second world war when the only incidence of panic was when people were isolated.’
      • ‘He pointed to the fact that despite the majority of seats there is still no minister here.’
      • ‘He points to the fact that in the judgment which we have given we have not doubted the verdict of the jury.’
      • ‘He rightly points to the fact that debate is the meat of scientific endeavour.’
      • ‘But critics point to the fact that the clubs do benefit from public money, at least indirectly.’
      • ‘He pointed rightly to the fact that the business of the Company had been preserved, as had over a hundred jobs.’
      • ‘James was pointing to the fact that the relationship between mind and body is not just one way.’
      • ‘The competition watchdog pointed towards store sales and improved terms for suppliers as it outlined remedies for the possible takeover.’
      • ‘His detractors have pointed at these disappointments as evidence of his shortcomings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As proof, we point to the fact that the same author also wrote six books predicting the end of the world.’
      • ‘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 people are still coming forward to risk their lives for this experiment.’
    5. 1.5(of a situation) be evidence or an indication 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.’
      • ‘For the next few weeks at least all the directional indicators are pointing to blood in the hencoop.’
      • ‘It also points to the fact that work by women has been neglected on the stage of one of our foremost theatres.’
      • ‘This points also to the fact that we should not only write ourselves into the text, but also into the action.’
      • ‘He argued that the court had chosen to ignore evidence pointing beyond doubt to the innocence of the nurses.’
      • ‘The evidence points to a political gesture in which doctrine is only a pretext.’
      • ‘We don't know for sure but recent evidence points to a Jacobite safe house in Stirling.’
      • ‘That she is even a potential leadership contender points to the mess of the current party.’
      • ‘The physical evidence pointed strongly to his guilt.’
      • ‘This points to adaptive design as a strategy potentially running across most of what we do.’
      • ‘The fact that the gun turret has fallen off points to this being the point of collision.’
      • ‘This new inside knowledge points to a high degree of manipulation by the government.’
      • ‘There are many facts pointing to sweeping climatic changes in the Earth's distant past.’
      • ‘Forecasts point to a worsening situation in the third and fourth quarters of this year.’
      • ‘It said evidence pointed overwhelmingly to MMR as the most effective and safest way of protecting children from measles, mumps and rubella.’
      • ‘It all points to disruption on rather a large scale and uncertainty at least in the medium term.’
      • ‘Currency movements are notoriously difficult to predict, but signs point to further weakening of the dollar.’
      • ‘He did not concede that the evidence pointed ineluctably to a single conspiracy.’
      • ‘Better yet, several key indicators point to further job gains.’
      • ‘And everything is pointing to the fact that he has already forgotten about me and has a new girlfriend.’
      indicate, suggest, be evidence of, evidence, signal, signify, denote, be symptomatic of, be a sign of, be a symptom of, reveal, manifest
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6[with object](of a dog) indicate the presence of (game) by acting as pointer.
      • ‘Both dogs found and pointed a group of about seven or eight birds.’
      • ‘If one dog points game the other dog must back the first dog.’
      • ‘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.’
    7. 1.7Ballet [with object]Extend (the toes or feet) by tensing the foot and ankle so as to form a point.
      • ‘They're busy cleaning their brushes, clearing their throats, sharpening their pencils, shining their saxophones and pointing their toes.’
      • ‘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 pointed my toes and my body became a stiffened arch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For example, alphabet exercises can be done by pointing your toes and drawing the alphabet in the air.’
      • ‘Avoid pointing your toes when stretching or exercising.’
      • ‘I'm also getting used to relaxing my legs and not pointing my toes so hard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Dancers long complained that the laces dug into their arch the more they pointed their foot.’
      • ‘Brendon is the first one to stir, sitting up and stretching, pointing his leather-booted toes.’
      • ‘From this position, flick your foot until your toes lift off the floor slightly, pointing your toes as they lift.’
  • 2[with object] Give force or emphasis to (words or actions)

    ‘he wouldn't miss the opportunity to point a moral’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He points his words with barbs of humor to make them stick.’
    • ‘She leant across the table and pointed her remarks with her knitting needles.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3[with object] Fill in or repair the joints of (brickwork, a brick structure, or tiling) with smoothly finished mortar or cement.

    • ‘They painted and pointed all the walls and completed the electrical fittings.’
    • ‘Paddy Geraghty and myself used to point that wall when I was employed in the wood many years ago.’
    • ‘Ideally you should point the brickwork after the bricks have been laid long enough for the mortar to start to set.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 4[with object] Give a sharp, tapered point to.

    ‘he twisted and pointed his mustache’
    • ‘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.’
  • 5[with object] Insert points in (written Hebrew)

    • ‘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. 5.1Mark (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.’


  • beside the point

    • Irrelevant.

      • ‘Frankly, this sort of literary speculation is largely 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.’
      • ‘The fact that the law has not been used for 12 years is beside the point.’
      • ‘That his Social Security proposal wasn't going anywhere was almost beside the point.’
      • ‘Whether we believe in capital punishment is beside the point, presumably those running these prisons think it's a fine idea.’
      • ‘But any such intuition is utterly beside the point, irrelevant as well as impolite.’
      • ‘I don't support the occupation myself, but that's beside the point.’
      • ‘The case naturally provoked a lot of commentary, much of it beside the point.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The distances between producer and consumer, suppliers and manufacturers are increasing everywhere - owers from Kenya and shoes from Taiwan are cases in point.’
      • ‘The air pollution caused by smoking autos and scooters is a case in point.’
      • ‘South Africa, the continent's most successful big economy, is the most important case in point.’
      • ‘A few cases in point: Two men attacked a British executive on the subway.’
      • ‘Just a case in point, the Cathedral that you see behind me is now open for mass every Sunday.’
      • ‘This remarkable piece of documentary theatre is a case in point: it is both reflective and incisive.’
      • ‘Christmas shopping, an activity rife with tragic overtones, is a case in point.’
      • ‘What is now happening on the Shankill Road is a classic example of the case in point.’
      • ‘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.’
      example, instance, case, representative case, typical case, illustration, specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification, occasion, occurrence
      View synonyms
  • get the point

    • Understand or accept the validity of someone's idea or argument.

      ‘I get the point about not sending rejections’
      • ‘He embarked on a lengthy explanation of what was going on, and why he couldn't do anything about it, and after a while I got the point and absolved him of the need to continue.’
      • ‘I can't understand either Spanish or Basque, but I got the point.’
      • ‘Sarah, on the other hand, gets the point, even though she really doesn't understand how to make it work.’
      • ‘The questioner smiled, got the point, and we did move into quite an intelligent discussion between religious and nonreligious progressives about common concerns.’
      • ‘I nodded, finally getting the point as to why I'd been accepted here.’
      • ‘I do not know whether anyone in the audience got the point.’
      • ‘On the other hand, fans will be disappointed to note that the same gags and ideas well, you get the point.’
      • ‘He's a very careful justice; he got the point, as did the court by the end.’
      • ‘Fortunately, Matt got the point but, if my tactics hadn't ended the touching, I wouldn't have felt bad about busting him for harassment.’
      • ‘He got the point about social violence, but why is it invalidated if the curator is the one who's making it?’
  • 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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But I must not have made my point clearly, because the sense in which he offers the statement is different from what I mean.’
      • ‘And I think that they make their point very clearly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Also, I clearly didn't make my point well enough, for which I apologize.’
      • ‘Rather than getting into a shouting match, he recommends taking three deep breaths, changing your environment or making your point assertively but calmly.’
      • ‘Perhaps, if he had reverted to the Irish language, he might have been able to make his point more clearly.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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 political reporters make a point of not saying how they vote.’
      • ‘They're making a point of what kind of clothes he wears.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now there are the rest of you who are making a point of not voting.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The best I could do was to make a point of always speaking courteously to travelers.’
      • ‘I make a point of not discussing various matters on this site.’
      • ‘Regardless of all this, I make a point of always having a good book with me.’
      • ‘Most parents make a point of actively discouraging their offspring from forming any relationship with a motorbike.’
      make an effort to, go out of one's way to, place emphasis on, put emphasis on
      View synonyms
  • off the point

    • Irrelevant.

      • ‘This is off the point, but the concern I would have about switching is simply that: switching.’
      • ‘But all this, as far as I can tell is off the point.’
      • ‘And slightly off the point, at management board again, somebody pointed out that middle management are the most difficult people to get through to.’
      • ‘Mr. Dillon's comment on whales is somewhat off the point, since many types of whales do not, in fact, eat fish.’
      • ‘To talk about yourself is to stray off the point.’
      • ‘Does it seem like its just derailed and gone completely off the point?’
      • ‘Anyway, I am getting rather spectacularly off the point.’
      • ‘At times, this impressively far-flung reporting (the frequent-flier miles that the authors accumulated along the way must be considerable) gets off the point.’
      • ‘As far as other charges are concerned, they have to do with very sexually explicit pictures which have come up with a bunch of indecency charges leveled against her, and that brought a comment from her lawyer that it was really off the point.’
      • ‘This may be a bit off the point or it may be right on it.’
  • 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.

      • ‘And the would-be organiser is pointing the finger of blame firmly at ‘anti-royalist’ members of Rochdale Council.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't want politicians blaming each other and pointing the finger at each other on the international stage.’
      • ‘In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, he denied any blame and pointed the finger at senior commanders.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Over-fishing and seals have been blamed, while others point the finger at traditional waters getting warmer and pushing fish away.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's very easy to point the finger and accuse a famous person of being in the wrong.’
      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 instead of returning to the point of departure.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For thousands of African slaves this was the point of no return.’
      • ‘The democratic activists are beyond the point of no return.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • point of sailing

    • A sailboat's heading in relation to the wind.

  • score points

    • 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’
    • Outdo another person, especially in an argument.

  • take someone's point

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I take your point, I was going with what I observed rather than something I'd read.’
      • ‘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 do take his point about the need for openness - this Government accepts that.’
      • ‘But I'm not sure that I take your point about the equivalence of Japanese and English syllables in scansion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Everybody expected Davis to take his point but the youngster had other ideas and blasted to the net to leave the Rags victorious.’
      • ‘I entirely agree with his last two sentences, and I take his point, but I disagree with the rest.’
      • ‘I take your point that this is not a definition of art, but it's a working definition of art.’
      • ‘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?’
  • to the point

    • Relevant.

      ‘his evidence was brief and to the point’
      • ‘More to the point, if I made a copy of a cassette, the copy would be inferior to the original.’
      • ‘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, would Ansel Adams have used digital cameras if he were alive today?’
      • ‘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, this marks a subtle shift in the nature of what a computer is.’
      • ‘Why is she phoning me and more to the point, why is she phoning me at 9 in the morning?’
      • ‘The chapters are brief and to the point, making the book easy to read, and to put down and pick up.’
      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.

      • ‘You can even choose your ethnic identity 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.’
      • ‘Well, my fears seem to have been realised 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.’
      • ‘To be fair they were quite entertaining, 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.’
      • ‘He said the council would cover a shortfall - up to a point.’
      • ‘England will be prepared to gamble on him, up to a point.’
      • ‘It makes a certain amount of sense, up to a point, in a ‘look on the bright side’ sort of way.’
      • ‘I think it is important that they have a different vision of how America advances its goals in the world, 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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All three judges controversially saw the former winning on points - a verdict the latter has always refused to accept.’
      • ‘A mind-blowing battle ended with a deserved Frazier win on points.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • point something out

    • 1Direct someone's gaze or attention toward something, especially by extending one's finger.

      • ‘After we cleaned off the detritus, I spotted several small fossils embedded in the rock and pointed them out to Zack.’
      • ‘The Manager was walking by so I called him over and pointed it out.’
      • ‘Opening to a marked page he pointed a paragraph out using his finger.’
      • ‘God doesn't extend a hand from the sky and point them out to you.’
      • ‘The children are amazed to see that each of them has a part in creating a beautiful object - multicolored and varied-and they take great pride and ownership in the tapestry, looking hard to find their ribbon and pointing it out to others.’
      • ‘That way, apparently, the parents stare at your fingers while you point things out more than they listen to what you're saying.’
      • ‘Every once in a while, I'd stop him and gaze into store windows, pointing different things out.’
      • ‘He saw the two towers of the World Trade Cener and appreciated Jabbar pointing them out.’
      • ‘A passenger found the box cutter and pointed it out to crew members.’
      • ‘Quinn lifted a hand to her chin, and stayed in that same stony position for a few moments before lifting a finger as if to point something out.’
      • ‘Then there was time for standing around outside the dome and pointing things out in the sky.’
      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 parking lot all day’
        [with direct speech] ‘“Most of the people around here are very poor,” I pointed out’
        • ‘As Councillor Ralph Berry rightly points out, vandalism can knock the heart out of a community.’
        • ‘We have so many contradictory feelings when we meet people, he points out.’
        • ‘I must point out here that I don't have problem with directors appearing in films.’
        • ‘He points out that one very important aspect of his training for his new job was in customer care.’
        • ‘Oily fish, such as mackerel or trout, is one of the easiest things possible to cook, points out Annie.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘She points out that he disappeared for 14 years without saying a word to Sharon.’
        • ‘However, the report also points out that much progress has been made, locally and nationally.’
        • ‘Michael says isolation can be a problem for single parents, but points out that help is available.’
        • ‘Unlike film and TV, he points out, on stage you have to get it right each time.’
        • ‘She also points out that these children benefit from the family support brothers and sisters can offer.’
        • ‘He pointed out that on those occasions' police directed motorists to the car park.’
        • ‘As Dan points out, this is a recipe for identity theft, and in no meaningful way can be said to increase security.’
        • ‘He points out that the 1990s saw a cluster of unusually destructive floods in Scotland.’
        • ‘We sent out a notice to all 500 finance directors in the NHS trusts pointing out what was going on.’
        • ‘Most crimes, he points out, are committed by a very few persistent offenders.’
        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’
      • ‘Whenever any important motif appears, he points it up almost pedantically.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pointing up the severity of the challenge the aviation industry is currently facing, he said that at this moment, some routes were loss-making.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, those differences were not pointed up by the authors or editor.’
      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.