What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[puhngk-choo-uh l] /ˈpʌŋk tʃu əl/
strictly observant of an appointed or regular time; not late; prompt.
made, occurring, etc., at the scheduled or proper time:
punctual payment.
pertaining to or of the nature of a point.
Origin of punctual
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin pūnctuālis of a point, equivalent to Latin pūnctu(s) a point, a pricking (pung(ere) to prick + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ālis -al1; see pungent
Related forms
punctually, adverb
punctualness, noun
nonpunctual, adjective
nonpunctually, adverb
nonpunctualness, noun
unpunctual, adjective
unpunctually, adverb
unpunctualness, noun
Can be confused
punctilious, punctual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for punctually
  • To be fair, pensions and state salaries are paid punctually, the economy is growing and inflation is relatively low.
  • The new managers paid wages punctually, for the first time in years.
  • He arrived punctually, but the chair of his committee called ahead to say she would be five minutes late.
  • The old fashioned banker used to go to his office so punctually that you might set a town clock by him.
  • Even after their salary stops they turn up punctually for work each day, often for decades.
  • In a failed state drivers do not stop at red lights and garbage is not collected punctually.
  • And he will calmly and punctually act in accordance with his words.
  • He took off my hands all care of the printing-office, paying me punctually my share of the profits.
  • He made a general confession, and laid down a plan of life, which he ever punctually observed.
  • They must also appear punctually for any appointments, hearings, or court dates.
British Dictionary definitions for punctually


arriving or taking place at an arranged time; prompt
(of a person) having the characteristic of always keeping to arranged times, as for appointments, meetings, etc
(obsolete) precise; exact; apposite
(maths) consisting of or confined to a point in space
Derived Forms
punctuality, noun
punctually, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin punctuālis concerning detail, from Latin punctum point
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for punctually



c.1400, from Medieval Latin punctualis, from Latin punctus "a pricking" (see point (n.)). Originally "having a sharp point; of the nature of a point;" meaning "prompt" first recorded 1670s, from notion of "insisting on fine points." Related: Punctually.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for punctual

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for punctually

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with punctually