- the sign (!) used in writing after an exclamation.
- this mark sometimes used in writing two or more times in succession to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness, etc.: Long live the Queen!!
- 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.”(!)
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
US exclamation point
- the punctuation mark ! used after exclamations and vehement commands
- 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
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
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.”
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.