[ puhngk-choo-ey-shuhn ]
/ ˌpʌŋk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən /
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the practice or system of using certain conventional marks or characters in writing or printing in order to separate elements and make the meaning clear, as in ending a sentence or separating clauses.
the act of punctuating.
Biology. the sudden or accelerated extinction of some species and emergence of others, occurring only in isolated periods, as set forth in the theory of punctuated equilibrium.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of punctuation

First recorded in 1530–40; from Medieval Latin pūnctuātiōn- (stem of pūnctuātiō ) “a marking, pointing”; see punctuate, -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM punctuation

punc·tu·a·tion·al, punc·tu·a·tive, adjectivenon·punc·tu·a·tion, nounre·punc·tu·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use punctuation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for punctuation

/ (ˌpʌŋktjʊˈeɪʃən) /

the use of symbols not belonging to the alphabet of a writing system to indicate aspects of the intonation and meaning not otherwise conveyed in the written language
the symbols used for this purpose
the act or an instance of punctuating
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