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4 definitions found
 for Punctuation
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Punctuation \Punc`tu*a"tion\, n. [Cf. F. ponctuation.] (Gram.)
     The act or art of punctuating or pointing a writing or
     discourse; the art or mode of dividing literary composition
     into sentences, and members of a sentence, by means of
     points, so as to elucidate the author's meaning.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: Punctuation, as the term is usually understood, is
           chiefly performed with four points: the period [.], the
           colon [:], the semicolon [;], and the comma [,]. Other
           points used in writing and printing, partly rhetorical
           and partly grammatical, are the note of interrogation
           [?], the note of exclamation [!], the parentheses [()],
           the dash [--], and brackets []. It was not until the
           16th century that an approach was made to the present
           system of punctuation by the Manutii of Venice. With
           Caxton, oblique strokes took the place of commas and
           periods.
           [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  punctuation
      n 1: something that makes repeated and regular interruptions or
           divisions
      2: the marks used to clarify meaning by indicating separation of
         words into sentences and clauses and phrases [syn:
         punctuation, punctuation mark]
      3: the use of certain marks to clarify meaning of written
         material by grouping words grammatically into sentences and
         clauses and phrases

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  36 Moby Thesaurus words for "punctuation":
     alphabet, ampersand, angle brackets, apostrophe, braces, colon,
     comma, dash, decimal point, diacritical mark, diagonal, dot,
     ellipsis, end stop, exclamation mark, full stop, hyphen, letter,
     parens, parentheses, period, point, punctuation marks,
     question mark, quotation marks, quotes, reference, reference mark,
     semicolon, single quotes, solidus, stop, tittle, virgule,
     writing system, written character
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  PUNCTUATION, construction. The act or method of placing points (q.v.) in a 
  written or printed instrument. 
       2. By the word point is here understood all the points in grammar, as 
  the comma, the semicolon, the colon, and the like. 
       3. All such instruments are to be construed without any regard to the 
  punctuation; and in a case of doubt, they ought to be construed in such a 
  manner that they may have some effect, rather than in one in which they 
  would be nugatory. Vide Toull. liv. 3, t. 2, c. 5, n. 430; 4 T. R. 65; 
  Barringt. on the Stat. 394, n. Vide article Points. 
  
  

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