• synonyms


[points-muh n]
noun, plural points·men. British.
  1. a railway switchman.
  2. a police officer who directs traffic, as at an intersection.
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Origin of pointsman

First recorded in 1840–50; point + -s3 + man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pointsman

Historical Examples

  • At the Olympic Mr. Willard has made his mark as the Pointsman.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 93, September 24, 1887


  • He took the risk instantly, shouted to the pointsman, and began to back his car.

    The Hero of Panama

    F. S. Brereton

  • The company says--he is--and the public says--he is; but I'm--a pointsman--and I know--better.

    London's Heart

    B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon

  • Such a withered old face was the face of the pointsman at No. 11 point!

    From Sea to Sea

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The pointsman who presides over this junction is the librarian.

British Dictionary definitions for pointsman


noun plural -men
  1. a person who operates railway pointsUS and Canadian equivalent: switchman
  2. a policeman or traffic warden on point duty
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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