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how to use 指?

what is the best definition for this word? and how to make sense of it grammatically?
Here's an example: ”效用是指商品满足人的欲望的能力“

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    this character has lots of meanings.
    in ur example, it means "mean..."
    效用 是指 商品满足人的欲望的能力:
    效用 means 商品满足人的欲望的能力.
    效用 指的是 商品满足人的欲望的能力. //this phrase highlights "商品满足人的欲望的能力"

    1. it same as point, like “指路", ”指方向“>>>"指教" ,”指导“
    2. finger, ”手指“, somehow same as point with finger.
    Example: A: 我不知道怎么去天安门, 你能帮忙指路吗? B:你指的是北京天安门吗? 没问题。

    In thid sentence,“是指”means“is about” in English.but“指”has several different means in chinese.

    <n.>finger;

    e.g.

    因为我爸在报纸上竖中指了!
    Because my dad gave the middle finger in the paper!

    <v.>point at;point to;bristle;indicate;

    e.g.

    这指的是我吗?
    Does this refer to me?

    (and off course ,the “指” in the sentence above)

    These two kinds of usage in common use today.

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