One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small, distinct point.
- ‘In view of the history of recurring meningitis, search of the child's skin then showed a small punctum in the back of the neck.’
- ‘Barthes writes, ‘However lightning-like it may be, the punctum has, more or less potentially, a power of expansion.’’
- ‘For Barthes, the catastrophe is unavoidable because time obliterates the punctum, or small space, registered in the photograph.’
- 1.1Anatomy The opening of a tear duct.
- ‘Goins explained that each eyelid has one punctum, a tiny opening that drains tears away from the eye.’
- ‘This incision is made on the medial aspect of the puncta and anterior to the lacrimal duct probes.’
- ‘In severe cases, occlusion of the lacrimal drainage puncta or tarsorrhaphy will be necessary.’
- ‘This serves to elevate the lower lid and reposition the lacrimal punctum with significant improvement in tear drainage and distribution.’
- ‘They drain out of the eyes through two ducts called punctum or lacrimal ducts, one on each of the upper and lower lids.’
Late 16th century (figuratively, denoting a point): from Latin, literally ‘a point’.
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