1. One that directs, indicates, or points, especially:
a. A long tapered stick or a laser beacon used to call attention to objects, as on a chart or blackboard.
b. A scale indicator on a watch, balance, or other measuring instrument.
a. A dog of a breed developed in Europe to point game, having a smooth, short-haired coat that is often white with black or brownish markings.
b. A dog of any of various similar breeds.
a. A piece of advice; a suggestion: Let me give you a few pointers on your golf swing.
b. A piece of indicative information: interest rates and other pointers in the economic forecast.
4. Computers A variable that holds the address of a core storage location.
5. Computers A symbol appearing on a display screen in a GUI that lets the user select a command by clicking with a pointing device or pressing the enter key when the pointer symbol is positioned on the appropriate button or icon.
6. Either of the two stars in the Big Dipper, Dubhe and Merak, that are aligned so that a line drawn between them extends north to Polaris, the north star.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.