Most commonly, punctuate means to insert standard marks (like periods, commas, and exclamation points) into written sentences.

You punctuate sentences to give the reader additional information, such as when a sentence ends, whether or not that sentence is a question, and when a series of words might be a list. You can also punctuate, or emphasize, your words by shouting them or making them ALL CAPS. Occasionally, this verb can also mean "interrupt periodically," as when your cat walks back and forth across your keyboard, punctuating your writing with "shjkpl;" and "pohjxz."

Definitions of punctuate
  1. verb
    insert punctuation marks into
    synonyms: mark
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    put quote marks around
    type of:
    make an addition (to); join or combine or unite with others; increase the quality, quantity, size or scope of
  2. verb
    interrupt periodically
    “Her sharp questions punctuated the speaker's drone”
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    type of:
    break up, cut off, disrupt, interrupt
    make a break in
  3. verb
    stress; single out as important
    synonyms: accent, accentuate, emphasise, emphasize, stress
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    background, downplay, play down
    understate the importance or quality of
    bring out, set off
    direct attention to, as if by means of contrast
    re-emphasise, re-emphasize
    emphasize anew
    bear down
    pay special attention to
    emphasize by putting heavy stress on or by moving to the front of the sentence
    point up
    emphasize, especially by identification
    drive home, press home, ram home
    make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something
    emphasise, emphasize, underline, underscore
    give extra weight to (a communication)
    pick up
    lift out or reflect from a background
    wave off
    dismiss as insignificant
    foreground, highlight, play up, spotlight
    move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent
    bring (a surface or a design) into relief and cause to project
    play down or obscure
    type of:
    evince, express, show
    give expression to
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