From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The first three notes in this chant are represented by puncta.

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin pūnctum. Doublet of point and punto.


punctum (plural punctums or puncta)

  1. (anatomy) A sharp tip of any part of the anatomy; a point or other small area.
    • 1861, The Annals and Magazine of Natural History: Zoology, Botany, and Geology:
      Thus, from what has been stated, we see that neither the white puncta nor the minute white branchwork of lines were ever tubular.
  2. (music) A neume representing a single tone.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Coined in 1980 by French literary theorist Roland Barthes in his book Camera Lucida.


punctum (plural punctums or puncta)

  1. (photography) A detail in a photograph that captures the viewer's attention and evokes an emotional response or personal connection beyond the intended subject.
    • 2007, Photography theory, page 87:
      [] the punctum is something that is seen by the viewer, without it being shown to them by the photographer. As such, it functions, according to Fried, as an “ontological guarantee” (553) of a given photograph’s nontheatricality.



  • (file)


punctum m (plural punctums)

  1. field of vision

Further reading[edit]



Neuter form of pūnctus, the perfect passive participle of pungō (to prick, puncture).



pūnctum n (genitive pūnctī); second declension

  1. (also grammar, mathematics) point
    • 1858 [1712], Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, edited by Carl Immanuel Gerhardt and Georg Heinrich Pertz, Gesammelte Werke: Leibnizens mathematische Schriften [Collected Works: Leibniz's Mathematical Writings], volume 5, "In Euclidis πρῶτα" [About the first things of Euclid], page 183:
      I. Pūnctum est cujus pars nūlla est.
      Addendum est, situm habēns. Aliōquī et temporis īnstāns, et Anima pūnctum foret. Sit locus ; sī jam quicquid est in locō , sit , dīcētur esse pūnctum, quāle .
      1. A point is that of which there is no part.
      Having a position must be added. Otherwise, both an instant of time and a Soul would be a point. Let there be a locus ; if anything is already in the locus , let it be . will be said to be a point, such as .
  2. puncture
  3. moment
  4. small portion
  5. an affirmative vote, suffrage, ballot
  6. (poetry) applause, approbation


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative pūnctum pūncta
Genitive pūnctī pūnctōrum
Dative pūnctō pūnctīs
Accusative pūnctum pūncta
Ablative pūnctō pūnctīs
Vocative pūnctum pūncta




  • punctum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • punctum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • punctum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • punctum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.