Definition of punctum in English:

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punctum

Pronunciation: /ˈpəNGktəm/

noun (plural puncta /-tə/)

technical
1A small, distinct point.
Example sentences
  • Barthes writes, ‘However lightning-like it may be, the punctum has, more or less potentially, a power of expansion.’
  • 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.
  • For Barthes, the catastrophe is unavoidable because time obliterates the punctum, or small space, registered in the photograph.
1.1 Anatomy The opening of a tear duct.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • This serves to elevate the lower lid and reposition the lacrimal punctum with significant improvement in tear drainage and distribution.

Origin

Late 16th century (figuratively, denoting a point): from Latin, literally 'a point'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: punc·tum

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