Pronunciation: (point), [key]
1. a sharp or tapering end, as of a dagger.
2. a projecting part of anything: A point of land juts into the bay.
3. a tapering extremity: the points of the fingers.
4. something having a sharp or tapering end: a pen point.
5. a pointed tool or instrument, as an etching needle.
6. a stone implement with a tapering end found in some Middle and Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic cultures and used primarily for hunting.
7. a mark made with or as if with the sharp end of something: Her sharp heels left points in the carpet.
8. a mark of punctuation.
9. period (def. 15).
10. See under decimal fraction.
11. Phonet.a diacritic indicating a vowel or other modification of sound.
12. one of the embossed dots used in certain systems of writing and printing for the blind.
13. something that has position but not extension, as the intersection of two lines.
14. a place of which the position alone is considered; spot: We're leaving for Chicago and points west.
15. any definite position, as in a scale, course, etc.: the boiling point.
16. (in acupuncture) a particular spot on the body at which a needle may be inserted, as to relieve pain.
17. Navig.any of 32 separate horizontal directions, 11° 15´ apart, as indicated on the card of a compass or gauged with reference to the heading of a vessel.
18. Naut.See point of sailing.
19. a degree or stage: frankness to the point of insult.
20. a particular instant of time: It was at that point that I told him he'd said enough.
21. a critical position in a course of affairs: Morale had reached a low point.
22. a decisive state of circumstances: He reached the point where he could no longer pay his debts.
23. the important or essential thing: the point of the matter.
24. the salient feature of a story, epigram, joke, etc.: to miss the point.
25. a particular aim, end, or purpose: He carried his point.
26. a hint or suggestion: points on getting a job.
27. a single or separate article or item, as in an extended whole; a detail or particular: the fine points of a contract.
28. an individual part or element of something: noble points in her character.
29. a distinguishing mark or quality, esp. one of an animal, used as a standard in stockbreeding, judging, etc.
a. the extremities of an animal, esp. a horse or dog.
b. Railroads, Brit.a switch.
31. a single unit, as in counting.
32. a unit of count in the score of a game: Our team won by five points.
33. (in craps) the number that must be thrown to win but not including 7 or 11 on the first roll: Your point is 4.
34. Ice Hockey.either of two positions, to the right or left of the goal, to which an attacking defenseman is assigned, usually in the execution of a power play, to help keep the puck in the attacking zone.
35. Basketball.a position in the front court, usually taken by the guard in charge of setting up the team's offense.
a. the position of the fielder who plays a short distance in front of and to the offside of the batsman.
b. the fielder playing this position.
37. Chiefly Boxing.the end or tip (of the chin).
a. the action of a hunting dog that indicates the presence and location of game by standing rigid and directing its head toward the game.
b. the position taken by a hunting dog in pointing game.
39. a branch of an antler of a deer: an eight-point buck.
40. Sports.a cross-country run.
41. one of the narrow tapering spaces marked on a backgammon board.
42. Educ.a single credit, usually corresponding to an hour's class work per week for one semester.
a. Also called breaker point. either of a pair of contacts tipped with tungsten or platinum that make or break current flow in a distributor, as in an automobile.
b. Brit.an outlet or socket.
a. a unit of price quotation, as in the U.S., one dollar in stock transactions, one hundredth of a cent in cotton and coffee, or one cent in oil, grain, pork, etc.: The price of stock went up two points today.
b. (esp. in motion pictures) a percentage point, usually of the gross profits, granted to someone who agrees to invest or otherwise participate in a business project: The star of the movie recieved a million dollar guarantee and five points.
45. one percent of the face value of a loan, esp. a mortgage loan, added on as a placement fee or a service charge and paid in advance or upon closing of the loan.
46. Jewelry.a unit of weight equal to 1/100 of a carat.
a. a patrol or reconnaissance unit that goes ahead of the advance party of an advance guard, or follows the rear party of the rear guard.
b. the stroke in bayonet drill or combat.
a. a unit of type measurement equal to 0.013835 inch (1/72 inch), or 1/12 pica. Cf. Didot point system.
b. Also called press-point. (in a press) one of several metal prongs for perforating the sheet so that it will be in register when the reverse is printed.
49. a unit of measure of paper or card thickness, equal to 0.001 inch.
50. See vaccine point.
51. See point lace.
52. any lace made by hand.
53. Heraldry.one of the pendent parts of a label.
a. the vertex of the angle formed at a frog by two rails; the intersection of gauge lines in a switch or frog.
b. Brit.a tapering movable rail, as in a railroad switch.
55. (in the game of go) any place where lines intersect or meet.
56. act of pointing.
57. Archaic.a tagged ribbon or cord, formerly much used in dress, as for tying or fastening parts.
58. Obs.an end or conclusion.
59. Obs.a pointed weapon, as a dagger.
61. at, on, or upon the point of, on the verge of; close to: on the point of death.
62. at this point in time, now; at this precise moment in history: At this point in time the President believes peace has been achieved.
63. in point, that is pertinent; applicable: a case in point.
64. in point of, as regards; in reference to: in point of fact.
65. make a point of, to regard as important; insist upon: She made a point of complimenting her friend's apartment.
66. make points with, Informal.to curry favor with: to make points with one's boss. Also,make Brownie points with.
67. strain or stretch a point, to depart from the usual procedure or rule because of special circumstances; make a concession or exception: Though the position required three years of previous experience, and he had only two, they stretched a point because of his outstanding record.
68. to the point, pertinent; fitting: The reply was short and to the point.
1. to direct (the finger, a weapon, the attention, etc.) at, to, or upon something.
2. to indicate the presence or position of (usually fol. by out): to point out an object in the sky.
3. to direct attention to (usually fol. by out): to point out the advantages of a proposal.
4. to furnish with a point or points; sharpen: to point a lead pencil.
5. to mark with one or more points, dots, or the like.
6. Sculpture.to transfer measurements of depth from a clay, wax, or plaster model to (a block of stone) by means of an apparatus that drills holes to the required depth prior to carving.
7. to punctuate, as writing.
8. Phonet.to mark (letters) with points.
9. to separate (figures) by dots or points (usually fol. by off).
10. to give greater or added force to (often fol. by up): to point up the necessity for caution.
11. Hunting.(of a hunting dog) to indicate the presence and location of (game) by standing rigid and facing toward the game.
a. to fill the joints of (brickwork, stonework, etc.) with mortar or cement treated in various ways with tools after application.
b. to dress the surface of (a stone) with a pointed tool.
13. to dress (a stone) with a point.
a. to narrow the end of (a rod) for passing through the dies of a drawbench.
b. to narrow the end of (a tube) over the head of a pin that is gripped to pull the tube through the dies of a drawbench.
1. to indicate position or direction, as with the finger.
2. to direct the mind or thought in some direction; call attention to: Everything points to his guilt.
3. to aim.
4. to have a tendency toward something: Economic conditions point to further inflation.
5. to have a specified direction: The sign pointed west.
6. to face in a particular direction, as a building.
7. Hunting.(of a hunting dog) to point game.
8. Naut.to sail close to the wind.
9. (of an abscess) to come to a head.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.