Word Family

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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘having the ability to reason’): from Latin rationalis, from ratio(n-) ‘reckoning, reason’, from rat ‘reckoned’, from the verb reri—the source also of ratio, rate, reason, etc.

Middle English: the noun partly from Old French point, from Latin punctum ‘something that is pricked’, giving rise to the senses ‘unit, mark, point in space or time’, from pungere ‘to pierce or prick’—the source also of punctuation (mid-16th century), punctual (Late Middle English), punctilious (mid-17th century), puncture (Late Middle English), etc.; partly from Old French pointe, from Latin puncta ‘pricking’, giving rise to the senses ‘sharp tip, promontory’. The verb is from Old French pointer, and in some senses from the English noun.

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