[ puhngk-choo-uh l ]
/ ˈpʌŋk tʃu əl /


strictly observant of an appointed or regular time; not late; prompt.
made, occurring, etc., at the scheduled or proper time: punctual payment.
pertaining to or of the nature of a point.

Nearby words

  1. punctatim,
  2. punctation,
  3. punctiform,
  4. punctilio,
  5. punctilious,
  6. punctuality,
  7. punctually,
  8. punctuate,
  9. punctuated equilibrium,
  10. punctuation

Origin of punctual

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin pūnctuālis of a point, equivalent to Latin pūnctu(s) a point, a pricking (pung(ere) to prick + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ālis -al1; see pungent

Related forms
Can be confusedpunctilious punctual

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for punctually

British Dictionary definitions for punctually


/ (ˈpʌŋktjʊəl) /


arriving or taking place at an arranged time; prompt
(of a person) having the characteristic of always keeping to arranged times, as for appointments, meetings, etc
obsolete precise; exact; apposite
maths consisting of or confined to a point in space
Derived Formspunctuality, nounpunctually, adverb

Word Origin for punctual

C14: from Medieval Latin punctuālis concerning detail, from Latin punctum point

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 punctually



c.1400, from Medieval Latin punctualis, from Latin punctus "a pricking" (see point (n.)). Originally "having a sharp point; of the nature of a point;" meaning "prompt" first recorded 1670s, from notion of "insisting on fine points." Related: Punctually.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper