verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)


    at/on/upon the point of, on the verge of; close to: on the point of death.
    at this point in time, now; at this precise moment in history: At this point in time the president believes peace has been achieved.
    in point, that is pertinent; applicable: a case in point.
    in point of, as regards; in reference to: in point of fact.
    make a point of, to regard as important; insist upon: She made a point of complimenting her friend's apartment.
    make points with, Informal. to curry favor with: to make points with one's boss.Also make Brownie points with.
    strain/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.
    to the point, pertinent; fitting: The reply was short and to the point.

Origin of point

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English point(e); partly < Old French point dot, mark, place, moment < Latin pūnctum, noun use of neuter past participle of pungere to prick, stab (cf. pungent); partly < Old French pointe sharp end < Medieval Latin pūncta, noun use of Latin: feminine of past participle of pungere; (v.) Middle English pointen; partly derivative of the noun, partly < Middle French pointer, derivative of pointe (noun)
Related formsmul·ti·point, adjectiveun·der·point, nounun·der·point, verb (used without object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in point



a dot or tiny mark
a location, spot, or position
any dot or mark used in writing or printing, such as a decimal point or a full stop
short for vowel point
the sharp tapered end of a pin, knife, etc
a pin, needle, or other object having such a point
  1. a geometric element having no dimensions and whose position in space is located by means of its coordinates
  2. a locationpoint of inflection
a promontory, usually smaller than a cape
a specific condition or degree
a momentat that point he left the room
an important or fundamental reason, aim, etcthe point of this exercise is to train new teachers
an essential element or thesis in an argumentyou've made your point; I take your point
a suggestion or tip
a detail or item
an important or outstanding characteristic, physical attribute, etche has his good points
a distinctive characteristic or quality of an animal, esp one used as a standard in judging livestock
(often plural) any of the extremities, such as the tail, ears, or feet, of a domestic animal
ballet (often plural) the tip of the toes
a single unit for measuring or counting, as in the scoring of a game
Australian rules football an informal name for behind (def. 11)
printing a unit of measurement equal to one twelfth of a pica, or approximately 0.01384 inch. There are approximately 72 points to the inch
  1. a unit of value used to quote security and commodity prices and their fluctuations
  2. a percentage unit sometimes payable by a borrower as a premium on a loan
  1. one of the 32 marks on the circumference of a compass card indicating direction
  2. the angle of 11°15′ between two adjacent marks
  3. a point on the horizon indicated by such a mark
  1. a fielding position at right angles to the batsman on the off side and relatively near the pitch
  2. a fielder in this position
any of the numbers cast in the first throw in craps with which one neither wins nor loses by throwing them: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10
either of the two electrical contacts that make or break the current flow in the distributor of an internal-combustion engine
British (often plural) a junction of railway tracks in which a pair of rails can be moved so that a train can be directed onto either of two linesUS and Canadian equivalent: switch
(often plural) a piece of ribbon, cord, etc, with metal tags at the end: used during the 16th and 17th centuries to fasten clothing
backgammon a place or position on the board
  1. short for power point
  2. an informal name for socket (def. 2)
an aggressive position adopted in bayonet or sword drill
military the position at the head of a body of troops, or a person in this position
the position of the body of a pointer or setter when it discovers game
boxing a mark awarded for a scoring blow, knockdown, etc
any diacritic used in a writing system, esp in a phonetic transcription, to indicate modifications of vowels or consonants
jewellery a unit of weight equal to 0.01 carat
the act of pointing
ice hockey the position just inside the opponents' blue line
beside the point not pertinent; irrelevant
case in point a specific, appropriate, or relevant instance or example
in point of in the matter of; regarding
make a point of
  1. to make (something) one's regular habit
  2. to do (something) because one thinks it important
not to put too fine a point on it to speak plainly and bluntly
on the point of or at the point of at the moment immediately before a specified condition, action, etc, is expected to beginon the point of leaving the room
score points off to gain an advantage at someone else's expense
stretch a point
  1. to make a concession or exception not usually made
  2. to exaggerate
to the point pertinent; relevant
up to a point not completely


(usually foll by at or to) to indicate the location or direction of by or as by extending (a finger or other pointed object) towards ithe pointed to the front door; don't point that gun at me
(intr; usually foll by at or to) to indicate or identify a specific person or thing among severalhe pointed at the bottle he wanted; all evidence pointed to Donald as the murderer
(tr) to direct or cause to go or face in a specific direction or towards a place or goalpoint me in the right direction
(tr) to sharpen or taper
(intr) (of gun dogs) to indicate the place where game is lying by standing rigidly with the muzzle turned in its direction
(tr) to finish or repair the joints of (brickwork, masonry, etc) with mortar or cement
(tr) music to mark (a psalm text) with vertical lines to indicate the points at which the music changes during chanting
to steer (a sailing vessel) close to the wind or (of a sailing vessel) to sail close to the wind
(tr) phonetics to provide (a letter or letters) with diacritics
(tr) to provide (a Hebrew or similar text) with vowel points

Word Origin for point

C13: from Old French: spot, from Latin punctum a point, from pungere to pierce; also influenced by Old French pointe pointed end, from Latin pungere
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

Word Origin and History for in point



c.1200, "minute amount, single item in a whole; sharp end of a sword, etc.," a merger of two words, both ultimately from Latin pungere "prick, pierce, puncture" (see pungent). The Latin neuter past participle punctum was used as a noun, meaning "small hole made by pricking," subsequently extended to anything that looked like one, hence, "dot, particle," etc. This yielded Old French point "dot; smallest amount," which was borrowed in Middle English by c.1300.

Meanwhile the Latin fem. past participle of pungere was puncta, which was used in Medieval Latin to mean "sharp tip," and became Old French pointe "point of a weapon, vanguard of an army," which also passed into English, early 14c.

The senses have merged in English, but remain distinct in French. Extended senses are from the notion of "minute, single, or separate items in an extended whole." Meaning "small mark, dot" in English is mid-14c. Meaning "distinguishing feature" is recorded from late 15c. Meaning "a unit of score in a game" is first recorded 1746. As a typeface unit (in Britain and U.S., one twelfth of a pica), it went into use in U.S. 1883. As a measure of weight for precious stones (one one-hundredth of a carat) it is recorded from 1931.

The point "the matter being discussed" is attested from late 14c.; meaning "sense, purpose, advantage" (usually in the negative, e.g. what's the point?) is first recorded 1903. Point of honor (1610s) translates French point d'honneur. Point of no return (1941) is originally aviators' term for the point in a flight "before which any engine failure requires an immediate turn around and return to the point of departure, and beyond which such return is no longer practical."



late 14c., "indicate with the finger;" c.1400, "wound by stabbing; make pauses in reading a text; seal or fill openings or joints or between tiles," partly from Old French pointoier "to prick, stab, jab, mark," and also from point (n.).

Mid-15c. as "to stitch, mend." From late 15c. as "stitch, mend;" also "furnish (a garment) with tags or laces for fastening;" from late 15c. as "aim (something)." Related: Pointed; pointing. To point up "emphasize" is from 1934; to point out is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

in point in Medicine




A sharp or tapered end.
A slight projection.
A stage or condition reached.


To become ready to open, as an abscess or boil.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

in point in Science



A geometric object having no dimensions and no property other than its location. The intersection of two lines is a point.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in point in Culture


In geometry, a location having no dimension — no length, height, or width — and identified by at least one coordinate.

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.

Idioms and Phrases with in point

in point


Relevant or pertinent, as in That is a case in point. [Mid-1600s]


in point of. With reference to, in the matter of, as in In point of the law, he is obviously wrong. [c. 1600]


in point of fact. See under in fact.


In addition to the idioms beginning with point

  • point in time
  • point of no return
  • point of view
  • point out
  • point the finger at
  • point up

also see:

  • at sword's point
  • at that point
  • at this point
  • belabor the point
  • beside the point
  • boiling point
  • brownie points
  • case in point
  • get to the point
  • hit the high spots (points)
  • in (point of) fact
  • in point
  • jumping-off place (point)
  • make a point of
  • make one's point
  • miss the point
  • moot point
  • on the point of
  • possession is nine points of the law
  • sore point
  • stretch a point
  • strong point
  • take someone's point
  • to the point
  • up to a point
  • win on points
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.