Definition of point in English:

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Pronunciation: /pɔɪnt/


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, tapered end, 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.
1.2 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.
1.3 Boxing The tip of a person’s chin as a spot for a blow: Andrews caught him on the point
More 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.
1.4The prong of a deer’s antler: a fine buck of eight points
More 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 full stop.
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 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: 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, mark
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 Appleford 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, locality, locale
technical locus
3.1A particular moment in time or stage in a process: from this point onwards 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;
moment in time, moment, instant
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.
decisive moment, critical moment, moment of truth, point of no return, crunch, crux, zero hour
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, on the verge of, about to, going to, on the brink of, ready to, all set to
3.4 [usually with modifier] A stage or level at which a change of state occurs: local kennels are full to 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, height
3.5 [with modifier] British A socket in a wall for connecting a device to an electrical supply or communications network: a power 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.
3.6(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.
4A single item or detail in an extended discussion, list, or text: the main points of the Edinburgh agreement
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, particular, fact, thing, piece of information, idea, argument, consideration, factor, element, aspect, regard, respect;
subject, issue, topic, question, matter
(points) informaldeets
4.1An argument or idea: 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.
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;
meaning, significance, signification, import, gist, substance, drift, thrust, burden, theme, sense, moral, relevance, tenor
informal brass tacks, nitty-gritty
4.2 (usually the point) The significant or essential element of something being planned or discussed: it took her a long time to come to the point some speakers rambled and never seemed to get to the point that’s not 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, end, design, reason, use, utility, sense, motive, value, advantage
4.4 [mass noun] Relevance 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, facet, side;
streak, peculiarity, idiosyncrasy
5(In sports and games) a mark or unit of scoring awarded for success or performance: he kicked a penalty goal to put Bangor eight points ahead
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.
5.1A 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.
5.2An 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.
5.3A unit of credit towards an award or benefit: points were allocated according to the inadequacy of the existing accommodation
More 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.
5.4A percentage of the profits from a film 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.
5.5 (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’.
5.6A unit of weight (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.
5.7A 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.
5.8 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 their hand: in Acol it is permissible to open with only twelve points
More 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.
6Each of thirty-two directions marked at equal distances round 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.
6.1A direction towards the horizon corresponding to the direction marked on a compass.
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 Highway 401 to Ontario and points west
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 the sea: the boat came round the point [in names]: Blakeney 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, head, foreland, cape, peninsula, bluff, ness, horn, bill
8 (usually points) British A junction of two railway lines, with a pair of linked tapering rails that can be moved laterally to allow a train to pass from one line to the other: the train gave a lurch as it passed over the points
More example sentences
  • Because of the vibration of the trains passing over points, bolts may loosen slightly over time.
  • The first train to pass over the points was the 7am service to Glasgow.
  • The line could be extended to Skipton, and beyond, by the simple addition of a set of points at Embsay Junction.
9 Printing A unit of measurement for type sizes and spacing (in the UK and US 0.351 mm, in Europe 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 Cricket A fielding position on the off side near the batsman.
Example sentences
  • You will usually find the best fielder in the team fielding at point.
  • I also field at point.
  • Players noted for their agility, acceleration and throwing accuracy will often field in the infield positions such as point, cover and mid-wicket.
10.1A fielder at the point position.
Example sentences
  • The point all the while must keep his face towards the batter.
  • Point does not chat with cover-point.
10.2 Ice Hockey Either of two areas to the left and right of the net, 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) (In a motor vehicle) each of a set of electrical contacts in the distributor.
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’.
12.1 [mass noun] chiefly North American The position at the head of a column or wedge of troops: he walked point and I took the tail
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: a pure white dog with black points
More 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 a hose 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 at the lower edge of a sail for tying up a reef.
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.
17 [mass noun] The 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.
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 towards something by extending one’s finger or something held in one’s hand: the lads were nudging each other and pointing at me
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] 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 torch 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;
North American  draw/get a bead on
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.
2 [no object, with adverbial] Cite 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.
2.1 (point to) (Of a fact or situation) indicate 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, be evidence of, evidence, signal, signify, denote, be symptomatic of, be a sign/symptom of, reveal, manifest
literary bespeak, betoken
2.2 [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] chiefly Ballet Extend (the toes) by tensing the foot and ankle so as to form a point: reach up with your arms and point your toes
More 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.
4 [with object] Fill the joints of (brickwork or masonry) with smoothly finished mortar: the bricks have been poorly pointed
More 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.
5 [with object] Give a sharp, tapered point to: he twisted and pointed his moustache
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.
6 [with object] Insert points in (written text of Semitic languages).
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.
6.1Mark (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.
7 [with object] (Of a dog) indicate the presence of (game) by standing rigid while looking towards it.
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.



at all points

In every part or respect: he turned to her, neat at all points, ready for anything
More example sentences
  • There is no desire - we want, we are discouraging it at all points.

beside (or off) the point

Irrelevant: Eliot’s arguments are wholly beside the point
More 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, 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

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.
example, instance, case, representative case, typical case, illustration, specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification, occasion, occurrence

in point of fact

see fact.

make one's point

Put across a proposition clearly and convincingly: he sat back, satisfied he had made his point
More 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/place emphasis on

on point

chiefly US Apposite; relevant: his review of the album was right on point
More example sentences
  • It pays off to go on the road and play the newer songs live, because the entire set made up from both albums sounded tight and on point.
  • So the viewer's idea is right on point, and it's my understanding from the releases we have seen that that's one of the first things the police looked into.
  • To uneducated listeners, that could sound right on point.

point the finger

Openly accuse someone or apportion blame: I hope that the committee will point the finger at the real culprits
More 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.
blame, accuse, denounce, inform against, blacken the name of;
incriminate, implicate, involve;
informal frame, set up, stick/pin the blame on, grass on, rat on
British informal fit up
archaic inculpate

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 rather than turn back.
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 sailing boat’s heading in relation to the wind: adjust the centre board according to point of sailing

point taken

A response indicating that the speaker recognizes the validity of someone’s idea or argument: point taken, but I stand by my view
More example sentences
  • Point taken, but I don't think legislating against it works.
  • If you're correcting me about using the phrase wrongly, point taken.
  • Point taken, however there were different circumstances.

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, connected, related, linked;
Latin ad rem
rare appurtenant

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 extent, to some degree, to a certain degree, in part, somewhat, partially, not totally, not entirely, not wholly
informal ish

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 towards, especially by extending one’s finger: I pointed out a conical heap of stones
More example sentences
  • He only survived because he was swept into a ditch and a man spotted him and pointed out a route to safety.
  • One would be hard pressed to point out a single fat man among these thousands.
  • As they drove, she played tour guide and pointed out spots of interest in Dover.
identify, show, designate, draw/call attention to, direct attention to, indicate, specify, detail, mention, refer to, allude to, touch on
[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 car park all day [with direct speech]: ‘Most of the people round 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.

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, underscore, turn the spotlight on, spotlight, foreground, put/lay emphasis on, stress, give prominence to, play up, focus attention on, 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

Line breaks: point

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