exclamation point

|

noun

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for exclamation point

Historical Examples of exclamation point

  • An exclamation-point sometimes gives the same words quite another meaning.

    The Verbalist

    Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)

  • An obelisk made an exclamation-point against the sky, or the ruins of a temple fretted the horizon.

    As Seen By Me

    Lilian Bell

  • Few whose eyes are turned upward toward the trees have failed to note that exclamation-point of growth, the Lombardy poplar.


exclamation point 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.”

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.