pointer

[poin-ter]
noun
1.
a person or thing that points.
2.
a long, tapering stick used by teachers, lecturers, etc., in pointing things out on a map, blackboard, or the like.
3.
the hand on a watch dial, clock face, scale, etc.
4.
Military. the member of an artillery crew who aims the weapon.
5.
one of a breed of short-haired hunting dogs trained to point game.
6.
a piece of advice, especially on how to succeed in a specific area: The food expert gave some good pointers on making better salads.
7.
Computers. an identifier giving the location in storage of something of interest, as a data item, table, or subroutine.
8.
Pointers, Astronomy. the two outer stars of the Big Dipper that lie on a line that passes very near Polaris and are used for finding it.

Origin:
1490–1500; point + -er1


6. tip, hint, suggestion, caution.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
pointer (ˈpɔɪntə)
 
n
1.  a person or thing that points
2.  an indicator on a measuring instrument
3.  a long rod or cane used by a lecturer to point to parts of a map, blackboard, etc
4.  one of a breed of large swift smooth-coated dogs, usually white with black, liver, or lemon markings: when on shooting expeditions it points to the bird with its nose, body, and tail in a straight line
5.  a helpful piece of information or advice

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pointer
"dog that stands rigid in the presence of game, facing the quarry," 1717, from point (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

pointer definition


1. An address, from the point of view of a programming language. A pointer may be typed, with its type indicating the type of data to which it points.
The terms "pointer" and "reference" are generally interchangable although particular programming languages often differentiate these two in subtle ways. For example, Perl always calls them references, never pointers. Conversely, in C, "pointer" is used, although "a reference" is often used to denote the concept that a pointer implements.
Anthony Hoare once said:
Pointers are like jumps, leading wildly from one part of the data structure to another. Their introduction into high-level languages has been a step backward from which we may never recover.
[C.A.R.Hoare "Hints on Programming Language Design", 1973, Prentice-Hall collection of essays and papers by Tony Hoare].
2. (Or "mouse pointer") An icon, usually a small arrow, that moves on the screen in response to movement of a pointing device, typically a mouse. The pointer shows the user which object on the screen will be selected etc. when a mouse button is clicked.
(1999-07-07)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
If they make a three-pointer, they are much more likely to try another one than if they had missed.
All it requires are a laser pointer, some polarizing film and a few household
  objects.
The remaining argument would then be if there is a counter-thrust on the
  pointer or not.
The free end culminated in a pointer that moved up and down a scale indicating
  the expected tide.
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