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exclamation point

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noun
  1. the sign (!) used in writing after an exclamation.
  2. this mark sometimes used in writing two or more times in succession to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness, etc.: Long live the Queen!!
  3. this mark sometimes used without accompanying words in writing direct discourse to indicate a speaker's dumbfounded astonishment: “His wife just gave birth to quintuplets.”(!)
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Origin of exclamation point

First recorded in 1860–65
Also called exclamation mark.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for exclamation mark

exclamation mark

US exclamation point

noun
  1. the punctuation mark ! used after exclamations and vehement commands
  2. this mark used for any other purpose, as to draw attention to an obvious mistake, in road warning signs, (in chess commentaries) beside the notation of a move considered a good one, (in mathematics) as a symbol of the factorial function, or (in logic) occurring with an existential quantifier
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

exclamation mark in Culture

exclamation point

A punctuation mark (!) used after an abrupt and emphatic statement or after a command: “‘Help!’ he cried, as his boat floated toward the edge of Niagara Falls.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.