point


point
{{11}}point (n.) 12c., a merger of two words, both ultimately from L. pungere "prick, pierce" (see PUNGENT (Cf. pungent)). The neuter pp. punctum was used as a noun, meaning "small hole made by pricking," subsequently extended to anything that looked like one, hence, "dot, particle," etc., which was its meaning as O.Fr. point, borrowed in Middle English by c.1300. The fem. pp. of pungere was puncta, which was used in Medieval Latin to mean "sharp tip," and became O.Fr. pointe, which also passed into English, early 14c.
The senses have merged in English, but remain distinct in French. Extended senses are from the notion of "minute, single, or separate items in an extended whole," which is the earliest attested sense in English (early 13c.). Meaning "distinguishing feature" is recorded from late 15c. Meaning "a unit of score in a game" is first recorded 1746. As a typeface unit (in Britain and U.S., one twelfth of a pica), it went into use in U.S. 1883. As a measure of weight for precious stones (one one-hundredth of a carat) it is recorded from 1931.
The point "the matter being discussed" is attested from late 14c.; meaning "sense, purpose, advantage" (usually in the negative, e.g. what's the point?) is first recorded 1903. Phrase possession is nine (or eleven) points of the law (1690s) is out of a supposed 10 (or 12). Point of honor (1610s) translates Fr. point d'honneur. Point of no return (1941) is originally aviators' term for the point in a flight "before which any engine failure requires an immediate turn around and return to the point of departure, and beyond which such return is no longer practical."
{{12}}point (v.) c.1400, "wound by stabbing; make pauses in reading a text; seal or fill openings or joints or between tiles," from POINT (Cf. point) (n.). Mid-15c. as "to stitch, mend." From late 15c. as "furnish (a garment) with tags or laces for fastening; aim (something); indicate with the finger." Related: POINTED (Cf. Pointed); pointing.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • point — 1. (poin ; le t se lie : un poin t important ; au pluriel, l s se lie : des points z importants) s. m. 1°   Douleur qui point, qui pique. 2°   Piqûre que l on fait dans l étoffe avec une aiguille enfilée d un fil. 3°   Nom donné à certains… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Point — Point, n. [F. point, and probably also pointe, L. punctum, puncta, fr. pungere, punctum, to prick. See {Pungent}, and cf. {Puncto}, {Puncture}.] 1. That which pricks or pierces; the sharp end of anything, esp. the sharp end of a piercing… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Point — may refer to the following: Contents 1 Business and finance 2 Engineering 3 Entertainment …   Wikipedia

  • point — [point] n. [OFr, dot, prick < L punctum, dot, neut. of punctus, pp. of pungere, to prick (< IE base * peuĝ , *peuk̑, to prick, jab > Ger fichte, spruce tree, L pugil, boxer, pugnus, fist); also < OFr pointe, sharp end < ML puncta… …   English World dictionary

  • Point — hat verschiedene Urspünge: Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bedeutung im Deutschen 2 Verwendung in Begriffen französischen und englischen Ursprungs 3 Einzelnachweise 4 Si …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • point — n 1: a particular detail, proposition, or issue of law; specif: point of error 2: any of various incremental units used in measuring, fixing, or calculating something: as a: a unit used in calculating a sentence by various factors (as aggravating …   Law dictionary

  • point — ► NOUN 1) the tapered, sharp end of a tool, weapon, or other object. 2) a particular spot, place, or moment. 3) an item, detail, or idea in a discussion, text, etc. 4) (the point) the most significant or relevant factor or element. 5) advantage… …   English terms dictionary

  • point — Point, ou Poinct, Sermoni vernaculo additur ad maiorem negationis expressionem. Je n iray point, id est, Non ibo, quasi dicas, Ne punctum quidem progrediar vt eam illo. Il n y est poinct, id est, Non est illic, quasi illius ne punctum quidem ibi… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Point — (point), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Pointed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Pointing}.] [Cf. F. pointer. See {Point}, n.] 1. To give a point to; to sharpen; to cut, forge, grind, or file to an acute end; as, to point a dart, or a pencil. Used also figuratively; as …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Point — 〈[ poɛ̃:] m. 6〉 1. 〈Kart.〉 Stich 2. 〈Würfelspiel〉 Auge [frz., „Punkt“ <lat. punctum, „Punkt, Stich“] * * * Point [po̯ɛ̃: ], der; s, s [frz. point < lat. punctum, ↑ Punkt]: 1. a) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • point — [n1] speck bit, count, dot, fleck, flyspeck, full stop, iota, mark, minim, mite, mote, notch, particle, period, scrap, stop, tittle, trace; concepts 79,831 point [n2] specific location locality, locus, place, position, site, situation, spot,… …   New thesaurus


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