American English

Definition of point noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a thing that someone says or writes giving their opinion or stating a fact She made several interesting points in the article. Itake your point (= understand and accept what you are saying). He's just saying that to prove a point (= to show his idea is right). OK, you've made your point! see also talking point
  2. main idea
  3. 2[countable] the point the main or most important idea in something that is said or done The point is you shouldn't have to wait so long to see a doctor. I wish he would get to the point (= say it quickly). I'll come straight to the point: we need more money. Do you see my point (= understand)? I think Imissed the point (= did not understand). You have a point (= your idea is right)—it would be better to wait till this evening. “There won't be anywhere to park.” “Oh,that's a (good) point (= I had not thought of that).” It just isn't true. That's the whole point (= the only important fact). “He's been married before.” “That's beside the point (= not important).” I know it won't cost very much but that's not the point (= not the important thing).
  4. purpose
  5. 3[uncountable, singular] the purpose or aim of something What's the point of all this violence? There's no point in getting angry. Idon't see the point of doing it all again. The point of the lesson is to compare the two countries. Thesauruspurposeaim intention plan point ideaThese are all words for talking about what someone intends to do or achieve.purpose what something is supposed to achieve; what someone is trying to achieve:The purpose of the visit was to see the campus in person.aim what someone is trying to achieve; what something is supposed to achieve:Our main aim is to increase sales in the Northwest.purpose or aim?Your purpose for doing something is your reason for doing it; your aim is what you want to achieve. Aim can suggest that you are only trying to achieve something;purpose gives a stronger sense of achievement being certain. Aim can be someone's aim or the aim of something. Purpose is more usually the purpose of something; you can talk about someone's purpose but that is more formal.intention what you intend to do:I have no intention of going to the wedding. She's full of good intentions but things rarely work out for her.plan what you intend to do or achieve:There are no plans to build new offices.intention or plan?Your intentions are what you want to do, especially in the near future; your plans are what you have decided or arranged to do, often, but not always, in the longer term.point (somewhat informal) the purpose or aim of something:What's the point of all this violence? The point of the lesson is to compare the two countries.idea (somewhat informal) the purpose of something; someone's aim:The whole idea of going was so that we could meet her new boyfriend. What's the idea behind this assignment?point or idea?Point is a more negative word than idea. If you say What's the point…? you are suggesting that there is no point; if you say What's the idea…? you are genuinely asking a question. Point, but not idea, is used to talk about things you feel annoyed or unhappy about:There's no idea in… I don't see the idea of….Patterns with the aim/intention/idea >of>doing something somebody's intention/plan to do something to have a(n) purpose/aim/intention/plan/point to achieve a(n) purpose/aim
  6. detail
  7. 4[countable] a particular detail or fact Here are the main points of the news. Can you explain that point again?
  8. quality
  9. 5 [countable] a particular quality or feature that someone or something has Tact is not one of her strong points. Read the manual to learn the program's finer points (= small details). Living in Portland has its good points, but the weather is not one of them. see also selling point
  10. time
  11. 6[countable] a particular time or stage of development The climber was at/on the point of death when they found him. We were on the point of giving up. Many people suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives. We had reached the point when there was no money left. At this point in time, we just have to wait. At this point, I don't care what you decide to do. see also high point, low point, saturation point, starting point, sticking point, turning point
  12. place
  13. 7[countable] a particular place or area I'll wait for you at the meeting point in the arrivals hall. the point at which the river divides Draw a line from point A to point B. No parking beyond this point. synonyms at Thesaurusplacesite area position point location scene spot venueThese are all words for a particular area or part of an area, especially one used for a particular purpose or where something is situated or a particular point, area, city, town, building, etc., especially one used for a particular purpose or where a particular thing happens:This would be a good place for a the place where something, especially a building, is or will be situated; a place where something happened or that is used for a particular purpose:They've chosen a site for the new school.area a part of a room, building, or particular space that is used for a special purpose; a particular place on an object:the hotel reception area Move the cursor to a blank area on the screen.position the place where a person or thing is situated; the place where someone or something is meant to be:From his position at the top of the hill, he could see the harbor. The position of someone or something is often temporary: the place where the person or thing is at a particular time.point a particular place within an area, where something happens or is supposed to happen:the point at which the river divideslocation a place where something happens or exists, especially a place that is not named or not known:The company is moving to a new location.scene a place where something happens, especially something unpleasant:the scene of the accidentspot a particular point or area, especially one that has a particular character or where something particular happens:I proposed to your mother on this very spot 50 years ago.venue the place where people meet for an organized event such as a performance or a sports event:Please note the change of venue for this event.Patterns at a/the place/site/position/point/location/scene/spot/venue in a(n) place/area/position/location/venue the place/site/point/location/spot/venue where… the right place/site/position/location/spot/venue a central site/position/location/venue the/something's exact/precise place/site/position/point/location/spotfocal point, jumping-off point, three-point turn, vanishing point, vantage point
  14. direction
  15. 8[countable] one of the marks of direction around a compass the points of the compass (= N., S., E., W., etc.)
  16. in competition
  17. 9[countable] (abbreviation pt.) an individual unit that adds to a score in a game or sports competition to win/lose a point Australia finished 20 points ahead. They won on points (= by scoring more points rather than by completely defeating their opponents). see also brownie point, match point
  18. measurement
  19. 10[countable] a mark or unit on a scale of measurement The party's share of the vote fell by ten percentage points. see also boiling point, freezing point, melting point
  20. punctuation
  21. 11[countable] a small dot used in writing, especially the dot that separates a whole number from the part that comes after it two point six (2.6) a decimal point We broadcast on ninety-five point nine (95.9) FM. see also bullet point
  22. sharp end
  23. 12[countable] the sharp thin end of something the point of a pencil/knife/pin
  24. land
  25. 13 Point [countable] a narrow piece of land that stretches into the ocean The ship sailed around the point. Orient Point
  26. of light/color
  27. 14[countable] a very small dot of light or color The stars were points of light in the sky.
  28. in ballet
  29. 15points [plural] = pointe
  30. size of letters
  31. 16[uncountable] a unit of measurement for the size of letters in printing or on a computer screen, etc. Change the text to 10 point.
  32. Idioms
    belabor the point (formal)
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    to repeat an idea, argument, etc. many times to emphasize it, especially when it has already been mentioned or understood I don't want to belabor the point, but it's vital that you understand how important this is.
    beside the point
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    to not be important or closely related to the main thing you are talking about Yes, I know it was an accident, but that's beside the point. They took my words out of context, but that's beside the point.
    a case in point
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    a clear example of the problem, situation, etc. that is being discussed
    in point of fact
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    used to say what is true in a situation In point of fact, she is their adopted daughter.
    labor the point
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    to continue to repeat or explain something that has already been said and understood I understand what you're saying—there's no need to labor the point.
    make a point of doing something
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    to be or make sure you do something because it is important or necessary I made a point of closing all the windows before leaving the house.
    a moot point/question
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    a matter about which there may be disagreement or confusion Whether this should be enforced by law or not is a moot point.
    more to the point
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    used to say that something is more important than something else I couldn't do the job—I've never been to Spain and, more to the point, I don't speak Spanish.
    not to put too fine a point on it
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    used to emphasize something that is expressed clearly and directly, especially a criticism Not to put too fine a point on it, I think you are lying.
    appropriate or relevant to the situation The quotation was directly on point. Let's stay on point. None of the replies was on point.
    point of contact
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    a place where you go or a person that you speak to when you are dealing with an organization The receptionist is the first point of contact most people have with the clinic.
      a point of departure
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    1. 1 a place where a trip starts
    2. 2(formal) an idea, a theory, or an event that is used to start a discussion, an activity, etc.
    a point of honor
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    a thing that someone considers to be very important for their honor or reputation
    the point of no return
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    the time when you must continue with what you have decided to do, because it is not possible to get back to an earlier situation
    point taken
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    used to say that you accept that someone else is right when they have disagreed with you or criticized you Point taken. Let's drop the subject.
    score a point/points (off/against/over somebody)
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    to show that you are better than someone, especially by making clever remarks, for example in an argument
    score points (with somebody)
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    to please someone, or make them like you Coming late to work won't score points with the boss.
    a sore point
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    a subject that makes you feel angry or upset when it is mentioned It's a sore point with Sue's parents that the children have not been baptized yet.
    stretch a/the point
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    to exaggerate slightly It would be stretching a point to claim that the movie is a masterpiece.
    to the point
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    expressed in a simple, clear way without any extra information or feelings synonym pertinent The letter was short and to the point.
    to the point of (doing) something
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    to a degree that can be described as something He was rude to the point of being aggressive.
    up to a (certain) point
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    to some extent; to some degree but not completely I agree with you up to a point.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: point