Point of view
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 instrument, as a needle or a pin. [1913 Webster]

2. An instrument which pricks or pierces, as a sort of needle used by engravers, etchers, lace workers, and others; also, a pointed cutting tool, as a stone cutter's point; -- called also {pointer}. [1913 Webster]

3. Anything which tapers to a sharp, well-defined termination. Specifically: A small promontory or cape; a tract of land extending into the water beyond the common shore line. [1913 Webster]

4. The mark made by the end of a sharp, piercing instrument, as a needle; a prick. [1913 Webster]

5. An indefinitely small space; a mere spot indicated or supposed. Specifically: (Geom.) That which has neither parts nor magnitude; that which has position, but has neither length, breadth, nor thickness, -- sometimes conceived of as the limit of a line; that by the motion of which a line is conceived to be produced. [1913 Webster]

6. An indivisible portion of time; a moment; an instant; hence, the verge. [1913 Webster]

When time's first point begun Made he all souls. --Sir J. Davies. [1913 Webster]

7. A mark of punctuation; a character used to mark the divisions of a composition, or the pauses to be observed in reading, or to point off groups of figures, etc.; a stop, as a comma, a semicolon, and esp. a period; hence, figuratively, an end, or conclusion. [1913 Webster]

And there a point, for ended is my tale. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Commas and points they set exactly right. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

8. Whatever serves to mark progress, rank, or relative position, or to indicate a transition from one state or position to another, degree; step; stage; hence, position or condition attained; as, a point of elevation, or of depression; the stock fell off five points; he won by tenpoints. ``A point of precedence.'' --Selden. ``Creeping on from point to point.'' --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

A lord full fat and in good point. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

9. That which arrests attention, or indicates qualities or character; a salient feature; a characteristic; a peculiarity; hence, a particular; an item; a detail; as, the good or bad points of a man, a horse, a book, a story, etc. [1913 Webster]

He told him, point for point, in short and plain. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

In point of religion and in point of honor. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

Shalt thou dispute With Him the points of liberty ? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

10. Hence, the most prominent or important feature, as of an argument, discourse, etc.; the essential matter; esp., the proposition to be established; as, the point of an anecdote. ``Here lies the point.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

They will hardly prove his point. --Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster]

11. A small matter; a trifle; a least consideration; a punctilio. [1913 Webster]

This fellow doth not stand upon points. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

[He] cared not for God or man a point. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

12. (Mus.) A dot or mark used to designate certain tones or time; as: (a) (Anc. Mus.) A dot or mark distinguishing or characterizing certain tones or styles; as, points of perfection, of augmentation, etc.; hence, a note; a tune. ``Sound the trumpet -- not a levant, or a flourish, but a point of war.'' --Sir W. Scott. (b) (Mod. Mus.) A dot placed at the right hand of a note, to raise its value, or prolong its time, by one half, as to make a whole note equal to three half notes, a half note equal to three quarter notes. [1913 Webster]

13. (Astron.) A fixed conventional place for reference, or zero of reckoning, in the heavens, usually the intersection of two or more great circles of the sphere, and named specifically in each case according to the position intended; as, the equinoctial points; the solstitial points; the nodal points; vertical points, etc. See {Equinoctial Nodal}. [1913 Webster]

14. (Her.) One of the several different parts of the escutcheon. See {Escutcheon}. [1913 Webster]

15. (Naut.) (a) One of the points of the compass (see {Points of the compass}, below); also, the difference between two points of the compass; as, to fall off a point. (b) A short piece of cordage used in reefing sails. See {Reef point}, under {Reef}. [1913 Webster]

16. (Anc. Costume) A a string or lace used to tie together certain parts of the dress. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

17. Lace wrought the needle; as, point de Venise; Brussels point. See Point lace, below. [1913 Webster]

18. pl. (Railways) A switch. [Eng.] [1913 Webster]

19. An item of private information; a hint; a tip; a pointer. [Cant, U. S.] [1913 Webster]

20. (Cricket) A fielder who is stationed on the off side, about twelve or fifteen yards from, and a little in advance of, the batsman. [1913 Webster]

21. The attitude assumed by a pointer dog when he finds game; as, the dog came to a point. See {Pointer}. [1913 Webster]

22. (Type Making) A standard unit of measure for the size of type bodies, being one twelfth of the thickness of pica type. See {Point system of type}, under {Type}. [1913 Webster]

23. A tyne or snag of an antler. [1913 Webster]

24. One of the spaces on a backgammon board. [1913 Webster]

25. (Fencing) A movement executed with the saber or foil; as, tierce point. [1913 Webster]

26. (Med.) A pointed piece of quill or bone covered at one end with vaccine matter; -- called also {vaccine point}. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

27. One of the raised dots used in certain systems of printing and writing for the blind. The first practical system was that devised by Louis Braille in 1829, and still used in Europe (see {Braille}). Two modifications of this are current in the United States:

{New York point} founded on three bases of equidistant points arranged in two lines (viz., : :: :::), and a later improvement,

{American Braille}, embodying the Braille base (:::) and the New-York-point principle of using the characters of few points for the commonest letters. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

28. In technical senses: (a) In various games, a position of a certain player, or, by extension, the player himself; as: (1) (Lacrosse & Ice Hockey) The position of the player of each side who stands a short distance in front of the goal keeper; also, the player himself. (2) (Baseball) (pl.) The position of the pitcher and catcher. (b) (Hunting) A spot to which a straight run is made; hence, a straight run from point to point; a cross-country run. [Colloq. Oxf. E. D.] (c) (Falconry) The perpendicular rising of a hawk over the place where its prey has gone into cover. (d) Act of pointing, as of the foot downward in certain dance positions. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

Note: The word point is a general term, much used in the sciences, particularly in mathematics, mechanics, perspective, and physics, but generally either in the geometrical sense, or in that of degree, or condition of change, and with some accompanying descriptive or qualifying term, under which, in the vocabulary, the specific uses are explained; as, boiling point, carbon point, dry point, freezing point, melting point, vanishing point, etc. [1913 Webster]

{At all points}, in every particular, completely; perfectly. --Shak.

{At point}, {In point}, {At the point}, {In the point}, or {On the point}, as near as can be; on the verge; about (see {About}, prep., 6); as, at the point of death; he was on the point of speaking. ``In point to fall down.'' --Chaucer. ``Caius Sidius Geta, at point to have been taken, recovered himself so valiantly as brought day on his side.'' --Milton.

{Dead point}. (Mach.) Same as {Dead center}, under {Dead}.

{Far point} (Med.), in ophthalmology, the farthest point at which objects are seen distinctly. In normal eyes the nearest point at which objects are seen distinctly; either with the two eyes together (binocular near point), or with each eye separately (monocular near point).

{Nine points of the law}, all but the tenth point; the greater weight of authority.

{On the point}. See {At point}, above.

{Point lace}, lace wrought with the needle, as distinguished from that made on the pillow.

{Point net}, a machine-made lace imitating a kind of Brussels lace (Brussels ground).

{Point of concurrence} (Geom.), a point common to two lines, but not a point of tangency or of intersection, as, for instance, that in which a cycloid meets its base.

{Point of contrary flexure}, a point at which a curve changes its direction of curvature, or at which its convexity and concavity change sides.

{Point of order}, in parliamentary practice, a question of order or propriety under the rules.

{Point of sight} (Persp.), in a perspective drawing, the point assumed as that occupied by the eye of the spectator.

{Point of view}, the relative position from which anything is seen or any subject is considered.

{Points of the compass} (Naut.), the thirty-two points of division of the compass card in the mariner's compass; the corresponding points by which the circle of the horizon is supposed to be divided, of which the four marking the directions of east, west, north, and south, are called cardinal points, and the rest are named from their respective directions, as N. by E., N. N. E., N. E. by N., N. E., etc. See Illust. under {Compass}.

{Point paper}, paper pricked through so as to form a stencil for transferring a design.

{Point system of type}. See under {Type}.

{Singular point} (Geom.), a point of a curve which possesses some property not possessed by points in general on the curve, as a cusp, a point of inflection, a node, etc.

{To carry one's point}, to accomplish one's object, as in a controversy.

{To make a point of}, to attach special importance to.

{To make a point}, or {To gain a point}, accomplish that which was proposed; also, to make advance by a step, grade, or position.

{To mark a point}, or {To score a point}, as in billiards, cricket, etc., to note down, or to make, a successful hit, run, etc.

{To strain a point}, to go beyond the proper limit or rule; to stretch one's authority or conscience.

{Vowel point}, in Arabic, Hebrew, and certain other Eastern and ancient languages, a mark placed above or below the consonant, or attached to it, representing the vowel, or vocal sound, which precedes or follows the consonant. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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