Date: 1200-1300
Origin: Partly from Old French point 'small hole or spot, point in time or space', from Latin punctum, from pungere ( PUNGENT); partly from Old French pointe 'sharp end', from Vulgar Latin puncta, from Latin pungere


1 noun
point1 S1 W1


[countable] a single fact, idea, or opinion that is part of an argument or discussion:
That's a very interesting point.
That's a good point.
There are three important points we must bear in mind.
This brings me to my next point.
point about
I agree with John's point about keeping the costs down.
I'd like to make one final point before I stop.
Some simple examples will illustrate the point.
He showed me some of the original documents to prove his point.
I can see your point (=I understand it) and in general I agree with you.
You have a point there (=I agree with your idea or opinion).
I take your point (=understand it) about waiting until the spring.
OK, Sam, point taken (=I understand your idea or opinion).
They spent the evening discussing the finer points of (=the small details of) world politics.

main meaning/idea

the point

the most important fact or idea:
The point is, at least we're all safely back home.
Nobody knows exactly how it works. That's the whole point.
He may not have stolen the money himself, but that's not the point.
I wish you'd get to the point (=talk about the most important thing).
I'll come straight to the point (=talk about the most important thing first).
I need to find out who killed Alf, and more to the point (=what is more important) I need to do it before anyone else gets killed.
We all like him, but that's beside the point (=not the most important thing).
I think you've missed the point (=you have not understood the most important thing).


[uncountable] the purpose or aim of something:
I suppose we could save one or two of the trees, but what's the point?
point of
What's the point of this meeting anyway?
The whole point of this legislation is to protect children.
We're going to lose anyway, so I can't see the point of playing.
I didn't see the point in moving to London.


[countable] a particular place or position:
The accident happened at the point where the A15 joins the M1.
No cars are allowed beyond this point.
a border crossing point
Cairo is a convenient departure point for tours.
Dover is a point of entry into Britain.

in time/development

[countable] an exact moment, time, or stage in the development of something:
I had reached a point in my career where I needed to decide which way to go.
She had got to the point where she felt that she could not take any more.
Their win over old rivals Manchester United was the high point (=best part) in their season.
Sales reached a low point in 1996.
We will take last week's riots as a starting point for our discussion.
At one point, I thought he was going to burst into tears.
Maybe at this point we should move onto some of the practical experiments.
At that point, I was still living at home and had no job.
You will probably sell the car at some point in the future.
It is impossible to give a definite answer at this point in time.
Some children are bullied to the point of suicide (=until they reach this stage).


[countable usually plural] a particular quality or feature that something or someone has
somebody's/something's good/bad points
Sometimes she had to remind herself of his good points.
point of
They would spend hours discussing the finer points (=small details about qualities and features) of various cars.
The low price is one of its main selling points (=features that will help to sell it).
Driving was not one of Baxter's strong points.
One of the club's plus points is that it is central.
There were some weak points in his argument.


[countable]DSDG one of the marks or numbers that shows your score in a game or sport:
He is three points behind the leader.
Leeds United are now six points clear at the top of the table.
She had to win this point.
You get three points for a win and one point for a draw.
You lose a point if you do not complete the puzzle on time.
The fight went the full fifteen rounds, and in the end the American won on points.

sharp end

[countable] a sharp end of something:
the sharp point of a spear

boiling point/freezing point/melting point etc

the temperature at which something boils, freezes, melts etc:
Heat the water until it reaches boiling point.

the point of no return

a stage in a process or activity when it becomes impossible to stop it or do something different
reach/pass the point of no return
I was aware that we had passed the point of no return.

point of departure

an idea which you use to start a discussion:
He takes the idea of personal freedom as his point of departure.

be on the point of (doing) something

to be going to do something very soon:
I was on the point of giving up the search when something caught my eye in the bushes.
The country's economy is on the point of collapse.

up to a point

partly, but not completely:
I agree with you up to a point.
That is true, but only up to a point.

to the point

dealing only with the important subject or idea, and not including any unnecessary discussions:
Her comments were brief and to the point.

make a point of doing something

to do something deliberately, even when it involves making a special effort:
He made a point of spending Saturdays with his children.
I always make a point of being early.

when/if it comes to the point

British English used to talk about what happens when someone is in a difficult situation and has to make a difficult decision:
I'm sure that if it came to the point, he would do what is expected of him.

in point of fact

formal used when saying that something is true, although it may seem unlikely:
We were assured that the prisoners were being well treated, when in point of fact they were living in terrible conditions.

not to put too fine a point on it

especially British English used when you are saying something in a very direct way:
She's lying, not to put too fine a point on it.


[countable]HMN a sign (. ) used to separate a whole number from any decimals that follow it

measure on a scale

[countable] a mark or measure on a scale:
The stock market has fallen by over 200 points in the last week.

small spot

[countable] a very small spot of light or colour:
The stars shone like points of light in the sky.


[countable] one of the marks on a compass that shows direction:
Soldiers were advancing on us from all points of the compass.

piece of land

[countable]SG a long thin piece of land that stretches out into the sea:
We sailed round the point into a small, sheltered bay.


[countable] British EnglishTEE a piece of plastic with holes in it which is attached to a wall and to which electrical equipment can be connected:
a telephone point
an electrical point



[plural] British EnglishTTT a piece of railway track that can be moved to allow a train to cross over from one track to another:
The train rattled over the points.

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