Definition of point in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /point/


1The tapered, sharp end of a tool, weapon, or other object: the point of his dagger a pencil point
More example sentences
  • Small children and sharp points don't go together.
  • 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.
  • I dropped my tool on its point, which blunted it, so the left side is less worked and detailed than the right side.
tip, (sharp) end, extremity;
prong, spike, tine, nib, barb
1.1 Archaeology A pointed flake or blade, especially one that has been worked.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.3 Ballet another term for pointe.
Example sentences
  • Dressed in a tutu, she dances on point.
  • 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.
1.4 Boxing The tip of a person’s chin as a spot for a blow.
Example sentences
  • Harry hit him on the point of his chin.
  • I caught him on the point and knocked him backward.
  • She concentrated hard to gather her wits, and when Frank paused, slammed a right uppercut to the point of his chin.
1.5The prong of a deer’s antler.
Example sentences
  • There is a stuffed deer in the Nature House at the Nature Park, a small buck with two points on each antler.
  • Since then the head has been examined by experts and is found to have antlers with 16 points.
  • His antlers have seven points.
2A dot or other punctuation mark, in particular a period.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • When elements are removed from inside a word or phrase, but nothing is taken from the end, a full point is often omitted.
2.1A decimal point: fifty-five point nine
More example sentences
  • Six point nine percent, that's a nine-year high.
  • I undid my seat belt and hopped out of the car in my usual two point nine seconds.
  • Ninety-nine point nine percent of the people were interested and enthusiastic and the attitude was very favourable.
2.2A dot or small stroke used in the alphabets of Semitic languages to indicate vowels or distinguish particular consonants.
Example sentences
  • 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.
2.3A very small dot or mark on a surface: the sky was studded with points of light
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The points of light are collected and used to reconstruct a 3D digital image.
  • From that terracing came a continual glinting of points of light as innumerable cigarettes were lit.
pinpoint, dot, spot, speck, fleck
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
More example sentences
  • It said that the investigators conducted 783 tests at screening points and other areas of airport security.
  • 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.
place, position, location, site, spot, area
3.1A particular moment in time or stage in a process: from this point onward, the teacher was completely won over
More example sentences
  • There comes a point in the refurbishment process where the law of diminishing returns come into play.
  • There are three points in this process at which learning can potentially play a role.
  • From the point of conception onwards, parents are now viewed as a risk factor in their children's lives.
time, stage, juncture, period, phase
3.2 (usually the point) The critical or decisive moment: when it came to the point, he would probably do what was expected of him
More example sentences
  • 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.
3.3 (the point of) The verge or brink of (doing or being something): she was on the point of leaving
More example sentences
  • 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 club last night appeared to be on the point of calling in the receivers.
  • Relief was clear because the tour had seemed on the point of foundering.
(just) about to (be), on the verge of, on the brink of, going to (be), all set to (be)
3.4 [usually with modifier] A stage or level at which a change of state occurs: it is packed to the bursting point
More example sentences
  • The company appears to be on target to hit a cashflow break-even point by the end of the year.
  • The Festival reaches climax point on Sunday with something for all the family.
  • The company has slipped back into the red just three months after crowing that it had reached break-even point.
level, degree, stage, pitch, extent
3.5(In geometry) something having position but not spatial extent, magnitude, dimension, or direction, for example the intersection of two lines.
Example sentences
  • The points of intersection of the three lines located the centers of mass.
  • Every point on these lines has the same properties as the end-point on the N border.
  • The arrow in Fig.4A denotes the point of intersection used for sensitivity analyses.
3.6 [with modifier] British A wall outlet or jack: a telephone point
More example sentences
  • We were in a metal box with gas bottles, connected to an electrical hook-up point.
  • A fast wireless access point means you can connect your laptop to the machine and roam around the house.
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • He was reluctant to be drawn into any detailed discussion of this point.
  • Bulleted lists of key points at the end of each chapter provide an excellent review for students.
detail, item, fact, thing, argument, consideration, factor, element;
subject, issue, topic, question, matter
4.1An argument or idea put forward by a person in discussion: he made the point that economic regulation involves controls on pricing
More example sentences
  • They put their ideas and points across very eloquently.
  • He/she who needs to resort to violence to prove a point, has a poor argument.
  • He made some very valid points in his argument.
heart of the matter, most important part, essence, nub, keynote, core, pith, crux;
meaning, significance, gist, substance, thrust, bottom line, burden, relevance
informal brass tacks, nitty-gritty
4.2 (usually the point) The significant or essential element of what is intended or being discussed: it took her a long time to come to the point
More example sentences
  • Surely the point is that rules and guidelines like this are to be applauded whatever the source.
  • Whatever its deficiencies, the point was that it was inclusive, not divisive.
  • Grant says the point is that no one knows what it's like to be Lauren or what's going on inside her head.
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?
More example sentences
  • There's no point in buying a new dishwasher just as you're about to move house.
  • There's no point in being the most skilful player, if you can't keep yourself on the field of play.
  • There is no point in moaning about it.
purpose, aim, object, objective, goal, intention;
use, sense, value, advantage
4.4Relevance or effectiveness.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
4.5A distinctive feature or characteristic, typically a good one, of a person or thing: he has his good points
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The spacious master bedroom is on the top floor and should prove a key selling point.
attribute, characteristic, feature, trait, quality, property, aspect, side
5(In sports and games) a mark or unit of scoring: he scored 13 of his team’s final 19 points against Houston
More example sentences
  • To score 17 points in a game, and still lose, is a very bitter pill to swallow.
  • He was captain of the basketball team and set a school record by scoring 22 points in a game.
  • He kicked two vital points from play when they were needed most.
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.
Example sentences
  • The total is six, which becomes the ‘Point’.
  • The second round resolves with a point being rolled or a seven.
5.2A unit used in measuring value, achievement, or extent: the shares index was down seven points
More example sentences
  • The polls had a margin of error of four percentage points.
  • The figure represents an increase of 7.7 percentage points from last year.
  • However, the news isn't all good: gross margins slipped by 0.3 percentage points year on year.
5.3An advantage or success in an argument or discussion: she smiled, assuming she had won her point
More example sentences
  • Napoleon won his point that bishops and clergy should be paid salaries by the state.
  • I could go on, but I think I've made my point.
  • I felt then like I would never go back to work until we had won our point.
5.4A unit of credit toward an award or benefit.
Example sentences
  • For every special initiative they are credited with further points.
  • I wouldn't let a few points off of my credit score keep me from purchasing a home.
  • If she receives the required points, Deirdre hopes to study Forensic Science.
5.5A percentage of the profits from a movie or recording offered to certain people involved in its production.
Example sentences
  • 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.
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
More example sentences
  • His case came up nearly six months later and he was facing $200 in fines and points on his license.
  • He already had nine points for previous speeding convictions.
  • I'll get a sixty pound fine and three points on my license.
5.7A unit of weight (one hundredth of a carat, or 2 mg) for diamonds.
Example sentences
  • A 100 point diamond might cost three times as much as a 50 point diamond.
  • Even a one-point difference in a diamond's weight can dramatically affect its value.
  • The point system provides a convenient – and more impressive – way of describing diamonds that are less than one carat.
5.8A unit of varying value, used in quoting the price of stocks, bonds, or futures.
Example sentences
  • A supreme court defeat would wipe four or five points off the price of the bond in a day.
  • When message boards first took off in the mid 90s, postings like that could send stock up or down several points in a day.
  • It seems hard to believe that just a short year ago the Nasdaq was over 5,000 points and climbing.
5.9 Bridge 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • The result of the hand depends on the number of card points won by the opponents.
5.10 (point of) (In piquet) the longest suit in a player’s hand, containing a specified number of up to eight cards.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • She licked the pad and pressed it onto the glass next to the compass point.
6.1The corresponding direction toward the horizon.
Example sentences
  • The wind appeared to blow from all points of the compass at once, a trick of which Dublin winds have the secret.
  • At various distances and points of the compass, he could see other men holding red and white striped poles.
  • After missing a couple of early sighters, Carter kicked goals from all points of the compass.
6.2The angular interval between two successive points of a compass, i.e., one eighth of a right angle (11° 15ʹ).
6.3 (points ——) Unspecified places considered in terms of their direction from a specified place: they headed down I-95 to Philadelphia and points south
More example sentences
  • Passengers for points west could go through without stopping to change cars.
  • 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.
7A narrow piece of land jutting out into a lake or ocean: the boat came around the point [in names]: Sandy Point
More example sentences
  • I elect to stay outside and swim round the point, making a circuit back to the boat through an archway in the cliff.
  • We'll go back around the point and into that last small bight we passed on our way here.
  • I'm just taking the canoe around the point for a little paddle.
promontory, headland, foreland, cape, spit, peninsula, bluff, ness, horn
8 (usually points) British another term for switch (sense 4 of the noun).
9 Printing 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).
Example sentences
  • 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.
10 Basketball A frontcourt position, usually manned by the guard who sets up the team’s defense.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • A good point guard knows how to control the pace or tempo of the game.
10.1 Ice Hockey Either of two areas in each attacking zone, just inside the blue line where it meets the boards.
Example sentences
  • Usually the players at the two points are the defensemen.
  • He was robbed of what looked a certain goal when he moved in from the point was stopped by a big block.
  • She skated in from her position at the point to collect a pass in the right circle.
11 (usually points) Each of a set of electrical contacts in the distributor of a motor vehicle.
Example sentences
  • If the points need to be replaced you must remove the flywheel.
  • The distributor should be completely dismantled and the points examined.
  • I cleaned the points and the bike is now rideable.
12A small leading party of an advanced guard of troops.
Example sentences
  • They were advancing slowly in three points across the Realm, wiping out anything that stood against them.
  • He sent three of his men ahead as a ‘point’.
12.1chiefly North 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
More example sentences
  • Who wants to walk point today?
  • I know the layout of the town best, so I'll ride point.
12.2chiefly North American short for point man.
13 (usually points) The extremities of an animal, typically a horse or cat, such as the face, paws, and tail of a Siamese cat.
Example sentences
  • The dorsal stripe is the color of the horse's points.
  • The mask, legs and tail should all show clear tabby markings which should be the same colour on all points.
14 Hunting A spot to which a straight run is made.
Example sentences
  • 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.
14.1A straight run: our fox made his point to Moorhill
More example sentences
  • The hounds made an eight mile point in a little over 45 minutes.
  • 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.
15 (usually points) historical A tagged piece of ribbon or cord used for lacing a garment or attaching breeches to a doublet.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • The top-sails are always reefed with points.
  • I was paying attention to getting the points tied in and the main halyard stowed.
  • The eye of one point is put through the hole in the reef-hand.
17The action or position of a dog in pointing: a bird dog on point
More example sentences
  • Some dogs tend to exhibit signs of jealousy on seeing another 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.
18 Music An important phrase or subject, especially in a contrapuntal composition. Compare with counterpoint.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • He had managed to distract the man's attention by pointing at something behind his back.
  • ‘There you go, again,’ he said, his finger pointing at the pictures.
  • Carol looked to see what her finger was pointing at.
1.1 [with adverbial of direction] Indicate a particular time, direction, or reading: a sign pointing left
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Consumer spending indicators are pointing down.
1.2 [with object] Direct or aim (something) at someone or something: he pointed the flashlight beam at the floor
More example sentences
  • ‘Back away,’ Floyd directed, pointing a large stick of chalk at Kyle.
  • He is pictured pointing his weapon at his colleague.
  • 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.
aim, direct, level, train
1.3 [with adverbial of direction] Face or be turned in a particular direction: two of its toes point forward and two point back
More example sentences
  • Stand erect with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, toes pointing slightly outward.
  • My feet are set about shoulder width, the toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Four giant white spotlights were illuminated from the top of each gantry, pointing upwards towards the sky.
1.4 [with adverbial] Cite or put forward a fact or situation as evidence of something: he points to several factors supporting this conclusion
More example sentences
  • He points to the fact that in the judgment which we have given we have not doubted the verdict of the jury.
  • He pointed rightly to the fact that the business of the Company had been preserved, as had over a hundred jobs.
  • His detractors have pointed at these disappointments as evidence of his shortcomings.
1.5 (point to) (Of a situation) be evidence or an indication that (something) is likely to happen or be the case: everything pointed to an eastern attack
More example sentences
  • It also points to the fact that work by women has been neglected on the stage of one of our foremost theatres.
  • For the next few weeks at least all the directional indicators are pointing to blood in the hencoop.
  • There are many facts pointing to sweeping climatic changes in the Earth's distant past.
indicate, suggest, evidence, signal, signify, denote, bespeak, reveal, manifest
1.6 [with object] (Of a dog) indicate the presence of (game) by acting as pointer.
Example sentences
  • The judges will not only base their classification on the number of times a dog points game, but rather on the overall quality of the points.
  • If one dog points game the other dog must back the first dog.
  • Both dogs found and pointed a group of about seven or eight birds.
1.7 [with object] chiefly Ballet Extend (the toes or feet) by tensing the foot and ankle so as to form a point.
Example sentences
  • She lay on her bed and did some exercises, stretching out her legs and feet and pointing her toes.
  • From this position, flick your foot until your toes lift off the floor slightly, pointing your toes as they lift.
  • Diligently pointing their feet, they march onstage and take their places at the barre.
2 [with object] Give force or emphasis to (words or actions): he wouldn’t miss the opportunity to point a moral
More example sentences
  • The Coroner, in pointing the moral, condemned the sale at hucksters' shops of cheap, pernicious cigarettes and said the case should be a warning to boys addicted to cigarette smoking.
  • He points his words with barbs of humor to make them stick.
  • She leant across the table and pointed her remarks with her knitting needles.
3 [with object] Fill in or repair the joints of (brickwork, a brick structure, or tiling) with smoothly finished mortar or cement.
Example sentences
  • The brickwork was being pointed up and painters were carefully applying fresh coats of white paint to doors and lintels.
  • 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.
4 [with object] Give a sharp, tapered point to: he twisted and pointed his mustache
More example sentences
  • Anthony would make the best devil, if we pointed his beard and gelled his hair.
  • They painted by hand and pointed the tips of their brushes by moistening the tips between their lips.
  • Shape the sticks into batons by shaving off the square corners and pointing the ends.
5 [with object] Insert points in (written Hebrew).
Example sentences
  • 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.
5.1Mark (Psalms) with signs for chanting.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • This effect probably owes something to her experience of churchgoing, from which she would have learnt the Anglican practice of ‘pointing’ psalms.



beside the point

Example sentences
  • But any such intuition is utterly beside the point, irrelevant as well as impolite.
  • 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, neither here nor there, inconsequential, incidental, out of place, unconnected, peripheral, tangential, extraneous;

case in point

An instance or example that illustrates what is being discussed: the “green revolution” in agriculture is a good case in point
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.

get the point

Understand or accept the validity of someone’s idea or argument: I get the point about not sending rejections
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, fans will be disappointed to note that the same gags and ideas well, you get the point.
  • I can't understand either Spanish or Basque, but I got the point.
  • I nodded, finally getting the point as to why I'd been accepted here.

in point of fact

see fact.

make one's point

Put across a proposition clearly and convincingly.
Example sentences
  • And I think that they make their point very clearly.
  • Perhaps, if he had reverted to the Irish language, he might have been able to make his point more clearly.
  • But I must not have made my point clearly, because the sense in which he offers the statement is different from what I mean.

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
More example sentences
  • They're making a point of what kind of clothes he wears.
  • 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.
  • Now there are the rest of you who are making a point of not voting.
make an effort to, go out of one's way to, put emphasis on

off the point

Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.

point the finger

Openly accuse someone or apportion blame.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • And the would-be organiser is pointing the finger of blame firmly at ‘anti-royalist’ members of Rochdale Council.
  • 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.

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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

take someone's point

chiefly British Accept the validity of someone’s idea or argument.
Example sentences
  • Everybody expected Davis to take his point but the youngster had other ideas and blasted to the net to leave the Rags victorious.
  • I take your point 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 example sentences
  • The chapters are brief and to the point, making the book easy to read, and to put down and pick up.
  • If the safety of teenage girls is the objective, then money spent on taxis home is more to the point.
  • More to the point, if I made a copy of a cassette, the copy would be inferior to the original.
relevant, pertinent, apposite, germane, applicable, apropos, appropriate, apt, fitting, suitable, material
formal ad rem

up to a point

To some extent but not completely.
Example sentences
  • I think it is important that they have a different vision of how America advances its goals in the world, up to a point.
  • He said the council would cover a shortfall - up to a point.
  • 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.
partly, to some extent, to a certain degree, in part, somewhat, partially

win on points

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

Phrasal verbs


point something out

Direct someone’s gaze or attention toward something, especially by extending one’s finger.
Example sentences
  • Opening to a marked page he pointed a paragraph out using his finger.
  • That way, apparently, the parents stare at your fingers while you point things out more than they listen to what you're saying.
  • 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.
[reporting verb]1.1 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
More example sentences
  • She points out that he disappeared for 14 years without saying a word to Sharon.
  • As Councillor Ralph Berry rightly points out, vandalism can knock the heart out of a community.
  • He points out that one very important aspect of his training for his new job was in customer care.
identify, show, designate, draw attention to, indicate, specify, detail, mention

point something up

Reveal the true nature or importance of something: he did so much to point up their plight in the 1960s
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Whenever any important motif appears, he points it up almost pedantically.
  • Unfortunately, those differences were not pointed up by the authors or editor.
emphasize, highlight, draw attention to, accentuate, underline, spotlight, foreground, put emphasis on, stress, play up, accent, bring to the fore


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.

  • Most senses of point ultimately derive from Latin punctum ‘a small hole made by pricking’, giving rise to the meanings ‘unit, mark, point in space or time’, from pungere ‘to pierce or prick’. From the same source are punctuation (mid 16th century) which makes small marks on the text; punctual (Late Middle English) arriving at the right point in time; punctilious (mid 17th century) attending to the small points in behaviour; and puncture (Late Middle English) a small hole. A boxer wins on points (late 19th century) when he wins because the referee and judges have awarded him more points than his opponent, rather than by a knockout. The point of no return (mid 20th century) is the point in a flight at which it is impossible for an aircraft to return to its point of departure because of lack of fuel and so it has no choice but to continue. Thus it can also be the point at which you are committed to a course of action and must continue to the end. To refuse or ask about something point-blank (late 16th century) is to do so directly or abruptly and without explanation. The phrase literally describes a shot or bullet fired from very close to its target, blank being used here in the old sense of ‘the white spot in the centre of a target’. If you aim or point a gun directly at the centre of the target, you need to be sufficiently close for the bullet still to be travelling horizontally (rather than starting to follow a downward trajectory) as it hits the spot. The more general meaning arose as far back as the 1650s. See also poignant

Words that rhyme with point

anoint, appoint, conjoint, joint, outpoint, point-to-point

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: point

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.