the point of a pin.
a trifle; pinhead.
a tiny spot or sharp point.

verb (used with object)

to locate or describe exactly or precisely: to pinpoint the problem.


exact; precise: pinpoint accuracy.

Origin of pinpoint

First recorded in 1840–50; pin + point

Synonyms for pinpoint Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pinpoint

Contemporary Examples of pinpoint

Historical Examples of pinpoint

  • From without the moonbeams flooded it, from within came no pinpoint of light.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • I caught the pinpoint gleam of what might have been a knife in her hand.

    Beyond the Vanishing Point

    Raymond King Cummings

  • Tawney's face was a study of uneasiness, but he clearly could not pinpoint what the trouble was.

    Gold in the Sky

    Alan Edward Nourse

  • As they walked he tried to pinpoint directions, but because of the darkness he could not do so.

    Trading Jeff and his Dog

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • Not many hours before, it had been only a dust mote, a pinpoint of light in the void.

    Sugar Plum

    Reginald Bretnor

British Dictionary definitions for pinpoint


verb (tr)

to locate or identify exactlyto pinpoint a problem; to pinpoint a place on a map


an insignificant or trifling thing
the point of a pin
(modifier) exacta pinpoint aim
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 pinpoint

also pin-point, "point of a pin," 1849, from pin (n.) + point (n.). Taken into aeronautics in sense "place identified from the air," hence verb meaning "locate precisely" (1917), which originally was aviators' slang. Related: Pinpointed; pinpointing. As an adjective, "performed with precisional accuracy," 1944, originally of aerial bombing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper