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point (n.)

c. 1200, "minute amount, single item in a whole; sharp end of a sword, etc.," a merger of two words, both ultimately from Latin pungere "to prick, pierce," from nasalized form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick." The Latin neuter past participle punctum was used as a noun, meaning "small hole made by pricking," subsequently extended to anything that looked like one, hence, "dot, particle," etc. This yielded Old French point "dot; smallest amount," which was borrowed in Middle English by c. 1300.

Meanwhile the Latin fem. past participle of pungere was puncta, which was used in Medieval Latin to mean "sharp tip," and became Old French pointe "point of a weapon, vanguard of an army," which also passed into English, early 14c.

The senses have merged in English, but remain distinct in French. Extended senses are from the notion of "minute, single, or separate items in an extended whole." Meaning "small mark, dot" in English is mid-14c. Meaning "distinguishing feature" is recorded from late 15c. Meaning "a unit of score in a game" is first recorded 1746. As a typeface unit (in Britain and U.S., one twelfth of a pica), it went into use in U.S. 1883. As a measure of weight for precious stones (one one-hundredth of a carat) it is recorded from 1931.

The point "the matter being discussed" is attested from late 14c.; meaning "sense, purpose, advantage" (usually in the negative, as in what's the point?) is first recorded 1903. Point of honor (1610s) translates French point d'honneur. Point of no return (1941) is originally aviators' term for the point in a flight "before which any engine failure requires an immediate turn around and return to the point of departure, and beyond which such return is no longer practical."

Origin and meaning of point

point (v.)

late 14c., "indicate with the finger;" c. 1400, "wound by stabbing; make pauses in reading a text; seal or fill openings or joints or between tiles," partly from Old French pointoier "to prick, stab, jab, mark," and also from point (n.).

Mid-15c. as "to stitch, mend." From late 15c. as "stitch, mend;" also "furnish (a garment) with tags or laces for fastening;" from late 15c. as "aim (something)." Related: Pointed; pointing. To point up "emphasize" is from 1934; to point out is from 1570s.

Origin and meaning of point

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Definitions of point from WordNet
1
point (n.)
a geometric element that has position but no extension;
a point is defined by its coordinates
point (n.)
the precise location of something; a spatially limited location;
she walked to a point where she could survey the whole street
point (n.)
a brief version of the essential meaning of something;
life has lost its point
he missed the point of the joke
get to the point
point (n.)
an isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole;
a point of information
Synonyms: detail / item
point (n.)
a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process;
Synonyms: degree / level / stage
point (n.)
an instant of time;
at that point I had to leave
Synonyms: point in time
point (n.)
the object of an activity;
what is the point of discussing it?
point (n.)
a V shape;
the cannibal's teeth were filed to sharp points
Synonyms: tip / peak
point (n.)
a very small circular shape;
a row of points
Synonyms: dot
point (n.)
the unit of counting in scoring a game or contest;
a touchdown counts 6 points
he scored 20 points in the first half
point (n.)
a promontory extending out into a large body of water;
they sailed south around the point
point (n.)
a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list;
the main point on the agenda was taken up first
Synonyms: item
point (n.)
a style in speech or writing that arrests attention and has a penetrating or convincing quality or effect;
point (n.)
an outstanding characteristic;
his acting was one of the high points of the movie
Synonyms: spot
point (n.)
sharp end;
he broke the point of his pencil
he stuck the point of the knife into a tree
point (n.)
any of 32 horizontal directions indicated on the card of a compass;
he checked the point on his compass
Synonyms: compass point
point (n.)
a linear unit used to measure the size of type; approximately 1/72 inch;
point (n.)
one percent of the total principal of a loan; it is paid at the time the loan is made and is independent of the interest on the loan;
point (n.)
a punctuation mark (.) placed at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a full stop or after abbreviations;
Synonyms: period / full stop / stop / full point
point (n.)
a V-shaped mark at one end of an arrow pointer;
the point of the arrow was due north
Synonyms: head
point (n.)
the dot at the left of a decimal fraction;
Synonyms: decimal point / percentage point
point (n.)
the property of a shape that tapers to a sharp tip;
Synonyms: pointedness
point (n.)
a distinguishing or individuating characteristic;
he knows my bad points as well as my good points
point (n.)
the gun muzzle's direction;
he held me up at the point of a gun
Synonyms: gunpoint
point (n.)
a wall socket;
Synonyms: power point
point (n.)
a contact in the distributor; as the rotor turns its projecting arm contacts them and current flows to the spark plugs;
Synonyms: distributor point / breaker point
2
point (v.)
indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; either spatially or figuratively;
He pointed to the empty parking space
Synonyms: indicate / designate / show /
point (v.)
be oriented;
the dancers toes pointed outward
The weather vane points North
Synonyms: orient
point (v.)
direct into a position for use;
point a gun
Synonyms: charge / level
point (v.)
direct the course; determine the direction of travelling;
Synonyms: steer / maneuver / manoeuver / manoeuvre / direct / head / guide / channelize / channelise
point (v.)
be a signal for or a symptom of;
Her behavior points to a severe neurosis
Synonyms: bespeak / betoken / indicate / signal
point (v.)
sail close to the wind;
Synonyms: luff
point (v.)
mark (Hebrew words) with diacritics;
point (v.)
mark with diacritics;
point the letter
point (v.)
mark (a psalm text) to indicate the points at which the music changes;
point (v.)
be positionable in a specified manner;
The gun points with ease
point (v.)
intend (something) to move towards a certain goal;
Synonyms: target / aim / place / direct
point (v.)
indicate the presence of (game) by standing and pointing with the muzzle;
the dog pointed the dead duck
point (v.)
give a point to;
Synonyms: sharpen / taper
point (v.)
repair the joints of bricks;
point a chimney
Synonyms: repoint
From wordnet.princeton.edu