Definition - The practice of inserting symbols to aid in the interpretation of writing or printing.

Example -
The period at the end of this sentence is a punctuation mark.

Etymology -
The word derives from the Medieval Latin punctuatus, marked with points or dots (from Latin punctus, a prick).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1661:
"That there pass no mistakes of the punctuation.
For … if the stops be omitted, or misplaced,
it does … oftentimes quite spoil the sense."
(Boyle Style of Script. Pref. (1675) 13)

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