[puhngk-choo-uh l]


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.

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 formspunc·tu·al·ly, adverbpunc·tu·al·ness, nounnon·punc·tu·al, adjectivenon·punc·tu·al·ly, adverbnon·punc·tu·al·ness, nounun·punc·tu·al, adjectiveun·punc·tu·al·ly, adverbun·punc·tu·al·ness, noun
Can be confusedpunctilious punctual
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for punctually

Historical Examples of punctually

  • Punctually at nine o'clock on Monday morning, George was at the office.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • The whistle sounds, punctually to the stroke of six; we are off.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • On the Thursday she punctually returned, and after that she did not miss a week.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Punctually at the time appointed, the work of the day began.

  • "You'll be here then punctually at eight to-night," said he; and we parted.

British Dictionary definitions for punctually



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