Meaning of exclamation point

exclama'tion point"

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. the sign (!) used in writing after an exclamation.
  2. this mark sometimes used in writing two or more times in succession to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness, etc.: Long live the Queen!!
  3. this mark sometimes used without accompanying words in writing direct discourse to indicate a speaker's dumbfounded astonishment:(!) Also called “His wife just gave birth to quintuplets.”
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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