[ puhngk-choo-eyt ]
See synonyms for: punctuatepunctuatedpunctuates on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),punc·tu·at·ed, punc·tu·at·ing.
  1. to mark or divide (something written) with punctuation marks in order to make the meaning clear.

  2. to interrupt at intervals: Cheers punctuated the mayor's speech.

  1. to give emphasis or force to; emphasize; underline.

verb (used without object),punc·tu·at·ed, punc·tu·at·ing.
  1. to insert or use marks of punctuation.

Origin of punctuate

1625–35; <Medieval Latin pūnctuātus (past participle of pūnctuāre to point), derivative of Latin pūnctus a pricking; see punctual

Other words from punctuate

  • punc·tu·a·tor, noun
  • non·punc·tu·at·ing, adjective
  • re·punc·tu·ate, verb (used with object), re·punc·tu·at·ed, re·punc·tu·at·ing.
  • un·punc·tu·at·ed, adjective
  • un·punc·tu·at·ing, adjective

Words Nearby punctuate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use punctuate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for punctuate


/ (ˈpʌŋktjʊˌeɪt) /

verb(mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to insert punctuation marks into (a written text)

  2. to interrupt or insert at frequent intervals: a meeting punctuated by heckling

  1. to give emphasis to

Origin of punctuate

C17: from Medieval Latin punctuāre to prick, from Latin punctum a prick, from pungere to puncture

Derived forms of punctuate

  • punctuator, noun

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