beside the point

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1. A sharp or tapered end: the point of a knife; the point of the antenna.
2. An object having a sharp or tapered end: a stone projectile point.
3. A tapering extension of land projecting into water; a peninsula, cape, or promontory.
4. A mark formed by or as if by a sharp end.
5. A mark or dot used in printing or writing for punctuation, especially a period.
6. A decimal point.
7. Linguistics A vowel point.
8. One of the protruding marks used in certain methods of writing and printing for the blind.
9. Mathematics
a. A dimensionless geometric object having no properties except location.
b. An element in a geometrically described set.
a. A place or locality considered with regard to its position: connections to Chicago and points west.
b. A narrowly particularized and localized position or place; a spot: The troops halted at a point roughly 1,000 yards from the river.
11. A specified degree, condition, or limit, as in a scale or course: the melting point of a substance.
a. Any of the 32 equal divisions marked at the circumference of a mariner's compass card that indicate direction.
b. The interval of 11°15′ between any two adjacent markings.
a. A distinct condition or degree: finally reached the point of exhaustion.
b. The interval of time immediately before a given occurrence; the verge: on the point of resignation; at the point of death.
14. A specific moment in time: At this point, we are ready to proceed.
15. An objective or purpose to be reached or achieved, or one that is worth reaching or achieving: What is the point of discussing this issue further?
16. The major idea or essential part of a concept or narrative: You have missed the whole point of the novel.
17. A significant, outstanding, or effective idea, argument, or suggestion: Your point is well taken.
18. A separate, distinguishing item or element; a detail: Diplomacy is certainly not one of his strong points. Your weak point is your constant need for approval.
19. A quality or characteristic that is important or distinctive, especially a standard characteristic used to judge an animal.
20. A single unit, as in counting, rating, or measuring.
a. A unit of academic credit usually equal to one hour of class work per week during one semester.
b. A numerical unit of academic achievement equal to a letter grade.
22. Sports & Games A unit of scoring or counting.
a. A unit equal to one dollar, used to quote or state variations in the current prices of stocks or commodities.
b. A unit equal to one percent, used to quote or state interest rates or shares in gross profits.
24. One percent of the total principal of a loan, paid up front to the lender and considered separately from the interest.
25. Music A phrase, such as a fugue subject, in contrapuntal music.
26. Printing A unit of type size equal to 0.01384 inch, or approximately 1/72 of an inch.
27. A jeweler's unit of weight equal to 2 milligrams or 0.01 carat.
a. The act or an instance of pointing.
b. The stiff and attentive stance taken by a hunting dog.
a. A reconnaissance or patrol unit that moves ahead of an advance party or guard, or that follows a rear guard.
b. The position occupied by such a unit or guard: A team of Rangers were walking point at the outset of the operation.
30. Sports
a. Either of two positions in ice hockey just inside the offensive zone near the boards, usually assumed by defenders attempting to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
b. Basketball A position in the forecourt beyond the top of the key, usually taken by the point guard.
c. In women's lacrosse, a defensive player who marks the opponent playing nearest to the goal (the first home).
a. An electrical contact, especially one in the distributor of an automobile engine.
b. Chiefly British An electrical socket or outlet.
32. points The extremities of an animal, such as a cat or horse, especially when they differ in color from the rest of the coat.
a. A movable rail, tapered at the end, such as that used in a railroad switch.
b. The vertex of the angle created by the intersection of rails in a frog or switch.
34. A ribbon or cord with a metal tag at the end, used to fasten clothing in the 16th and 17th centuries.
v. point·ed, point·ing, points
1. To direct or aim: point a weapon. See Synonyms at aim.
2. To bring (something) to notice: pointed out an error in their reasoning.
3. To indicate the position or direction of: pointed out the oldest buildings on the skyline.
4. To sharpen (a pencil, for example); provide with a point.
5. To separate with decimal points: pointing off the hundredths place in a column of figures.
6. To mark (text) with points; punctuate.
7. Linguistics To mark (a consonant) with a vowel point.
8. To give emphasis to; stress: comments that simply point up flawed reasoning.
9. To indicate the presence and position of (game) by standing immobile and directing the muzzle toward it. Used of a hunting dog.
10. To fill and finish the joints of (masonry) with cement or mortar.
1. To direct attention or indicate position with or as if with the finger.
2. To turn the mind or thought in a particular direction or to a particular conclusion: All indications point to an early spring.
3. To be turned or faced in a given direction; aim.
4. To indicate the presence and position of game. Used of a hunting dog.
5. Nautical To sail close to the wind.
beside the point
Irrelevant to the matter at hand.
in point
Having relevance or pertinence.
in point of
With reference to; in the matter of: In point of fact, I never lived at the address stated on the form.
make a point of
To consider or treat (an action or activity) as indispensable: made a point of visiting their niece on the way home.
stretch a point
To make an exception.
to the point
Concerning or with relevance to the matter at hand: remarks that were to the point; rambled and would not speak to the point.

[Middle English, partly from Old French point, prick, mark, moment (from Vulgar Latin *punctum, from Latin pūnctum, from neuter past participle of pungere, to prick) and partly from Old French pointe, sharp end (from Vulgar Latin *puncta, from Latin pūncta, from feminine past participle of pungere, to prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

beside the point

- The expression is from ancient archery, and literally means one's shot is wide of the target.
See also related terms for shot.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Well, I tell you what," he went on, flying off again to a subject quite beside the point, "our district self-government and all the rest of it--it's just like the birch branches we stick in the ground on Trinity Day, for instance, to look like a copse which has grown up of itself in Europe, and I can't gush over these birch branches and believe in them."
Paulvitch, elated by the chance which had drawn the youth to the same side of the river as that along which he followed rather than to the opposite side where he would have been beyond the stalker's reach, hid in the brush close beside the point at which it was evident the skiff would touch the bank of the slow-moving stream, which seemed jealous of each fleeting instant which drew it nearer to the broad and muddy Ugambi where it must for ever lose its identity in the larger stream that would presently cast its waters into the great ocean.
It seemed to me that the question was beside the point. It was natural that I should take chances; but he was a man whose youth was past, a stockbroker with a position of respectability, a wife and two children.
They are beside the point. I have my daughter to consider.
"But all this is beside the point. The real point is that my son, like all fine natures, is a being of strange contradictions which the trials of life have not yet reconciled in him.
The days were completely wasted upon trifling, immaterial things, for after three weeks of such intimacy and intensity all the usual occupations were unbearably flat and beside the point. The least intolerable occupation was to talk to St.
Reality itself (a word she prefers to put inside quotation marks) is pretty much beside the point for Dean, whose academic field is not astronomy but political science and whose previous work concerned the rather more earthbound subjects of feminism and identity politics.
Such feats of skill and busyness are beside the point of Mondrian's idealism.
In a classic example of what used to be called racist and is now called multicultural thinking, the truth or falsity of Brawley's claims was beside the point for some.
"I never think about the clothes when I go to a shoot," he says, and the fashion usually does seem incidental, if not entirely beside the point.
In addition, the whole effort may prove beside the point if covenanters who change their minds can simply hop the border and file for divorce in another state whose laws do not recognize a covenant option; under current practice, most states would probably apply their own no-fault laws, even at the cost of ignoring the couple's original intent.
Here Iturria references himself; the distinct possibility that he is also invoking the Delphic E (a cabalist symbol of mother) with the upside-down bedframe form is only somewhat beside the point. A suggestion lingers that the oracular is only interesting or even possible in light of that elusive quality, human happiness.