- to mark or divide (something written) with punctuation marks in order to make the meaning clear.
- to interrupt at intervals: Cheers punctuated the mayor's speech.
- to give emphasis or force to; emphasize; underline.
- to insert or use marks of punctuation.
Origin of punctuate
Examples from the Web for punctuates
The yellow ticking clock that punctuates every episode of 24 is simultaneously bombastic, methodical, menacing, and relentless.‘Live Another Day’ Review: Can Jack Bauer Save ‘24’ From Itself?
May 5, 2014
She has smiling blue eyes behind square gray glasses and a ladylike grin that punctuates most of her encounters.Harper Lee’s Sister, Alice, Is 100, Still Practices Law, and Remembers Everything
Mary McDonagh Murphy
April 1, 2012
It punctuates a joke, or puts that extra zing on a punch line.Martha Plimpton Strikes Comic Gold
Maria Elena Fernandez
September 9, 2011
Prebble punctuates the story with outlandish puppetry and other unexpected imagery, as well a kind of English music-hall levity.Ken Lay Lives!
April 26, 2010
She punctuates her animated conversation with the manager with smiles and nods.My Actor-Husband
Such is the way of the buzzard—that shifting black question mark which punctuates a Southern sky.The Escape of Mr. Trimm
Irvin S. Cobb
It punctuates and sets off the sense, and relieves our attention from the strain of suspended interest.Emerson and Other Essays
John Jay Chapman
He punctuates by an obdurate and conscientious method, and will have no italics upon any pretext.Campaigns of a Non-Combatant,
George Alfred Townsend
The ministry of meal-time is twice blest: for prisoners and men without appetite it punctuates and makes time of eternity.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25)
Robert Louis Stevenson
- (also intr) to insert punctuation marks into (a written text)
- to interrupt or insert at frequent intervalsa meeting punctuated by heckling
- to give emphasis to
Word Origin and History for punctuates
1630s, "to point out," from Medieval Latin punctuatus, past participle of punctuare, from Latin punctus (see point (n.)). Meaning in reference to text, "to have pauses or stops indicated," is from 1818, probably a back-formation from punctuation. Hence, "interrupted at intervals" (1833). Related: Punctuated; punctuating.