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Meaning of POINTER

Pronunciation:  'poyntur

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a strong slender smooth-haired dog of Spanish origin having a white coat with brown or black patches; scents out and points game
  2. [n]  (computer science) indicator consisting of a movable spot of light (an icon) on a visual display; moving the cursor allows the user to point to commands or screen positions
  3. [n]  an indicator as on a dial
  4. [n]  a mark to indicate a direction or relation

POINTER is a 7 letter word that starts with P.


 Synonyms: arrow, cursor, Spanish pointer
 See Also: electronic stylus, German short-haired pointer, gun dog, hand, head, Hungarian pointer, indicator, light pen, mark, needle, point, shaft, sporting dog, vizla



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Point"er\, n.
One who, or that which, points. Specifically:
(a) The hand of a timepiece.
(b) (Zo["o]l.) One of a breed of dogs trained to stop at
    scent of game, and with the nose point it out to
(c) pl. (Astron.) The two stars (Merak and Dubhe) in the
    Great Bear, the line between which points nearly in the
    direction of the north star. See Illust. of {Ursa Major}.
(b) pl. (Naut.) Diagonal braces sometimes fixed across the

Computing Dictionary

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 backwards 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.

Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: advice, alerting, arrow, automatic pilot, blaze, boatheader, boatsteerer, caution, cicerone, clue, compass needle, courier, cowherd, coxswain, cue, direction, direction post, dragoman, drover, finger post, fist, goatherd, guide, guideboard, guidepost, guider, Gyropilot, hand, helmsman, herd, herdsman, hint, hour hand, index, index finger, indicator, lead, lubber line, mercury, milepost, minute hand, monition, navigator, needle, office, passing word, piece of advice, pilot, point, recommendation, river pilot, rod, shepherd, sign, signboard, signpost, steer, steerer, steersman, stick, suggestion, tip, tip-off, tour director, tour guide, warning, whisper