Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


v. punc·tu·at·ed, punc·tu·at·ing, punc·tu·ates
1. To provide (a text) with punctuation marks.
2. To occur or interrupt periodically: "lectures punctuated by questions and discussions" (Gilbert Highet)."[There is] a great emptiness in America's West punctuated by Air Force bases" (Alfred Kazin).
3. To stress or emphasize.
To use punctuation.

[Medieval Latin pūnctuāre, pūnctuāt-, from Latin pūnctum, point, from neuter past participle of pungere, to prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots.]

punc′tu·a′tive adj.
punc′tu·a′tor n.
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.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Only one major manuscript in Defoe's hand exists today, for The Compleat English Gentlemen, and most scholars have taken this as strong evidence that he was at best a haphazard punctuator and an author rather indifferent to the niceties of the compositor's trade.
Interjections: These are sounds, words or phrases occurring as a discourse punctuator and perhaps the most obvious candidate for code-switching in fictional dialogue e.g.
At the moment I lean towards the latter, partly because I'm taken with the friendly, roguish Ribarszki, who smokes Marlboros incessantly and peppers his only-very-slightlybroken English with liberal use of the universal punctuator 'f***'.