punctual (adj.)

c. 1400, "having a sharp point; producing punctures," senses now rare or obsolete, from Medieval Latin punctualis, from Latin punctus "a pricking" (from nasalized form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick").

The meaning "prompt" is recorded by 1670s, from the notion of "exact, precise, insisting on fine points," including the observation of time and the keeping of appointments (c. 1600). Related: Punctually.

updated on February 04, 2021