flash point


Definition of flash point

1 : the lowest temperature at which vapors above a volatile combustible substance ignite in air when exposed to flame
2 : a point at which someone or something bursts suddenly into action or being

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Examples of flash point in a Sentence

The city became a flash point as political tensions grew. The situation reached a flash point when union leaders urged the workers to protest.

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s been a lot of flash points in this Administration. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 Cultural mores change gradually, but there are still flash points along the way. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The True Story of Gary Hart's Presidential Campaign Scandal in The Front Runner," 8 Nov. 2018 Mexicans may not fund the border wall that has been the flash point behind the longest government shutdown in history. Tim Carman, The Seattle Times, "Americans nationwide help feed federal workers as shutdown enters 2nd month," 23 Jan. 2019 New York, home of the nation’s largest and most powerful test opt-out movement, has emerged as a flash point and model of how to sustain strong collective resistance to coercion and threats. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "The bottom line on opting out of high-stakes standardized tests," 8 June 2018 Government spokespeople declined to answer specific questions about CEU, but did address another flash point: the country's growing embrace of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Kata Karáth, Science | AAAS, "Hungarian scientists are on edge as country is poised to force out top university," 10 May 2018 More than 700 people were injured in the disaster at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, which emerged as a political flash point over the role of wealth and class in British life. Michael Wolgelenter, New York Times, "Hillsborough Police Commander Faces Trial in 95 Soccer Deaths," 29 June 2018 The unsolved disappearance of 43 students at a rural teachers college in 2014 continues to be a flash point of indignation, as are the dozen current or former governors facing corruption charges. Kate Linthicum, latimes.com, "Fed up with violence and corruption, Mexican voters embrace a seasoned leftist who wants to double the minimum wage," 24 June 2018 The money funds teacher salaries and classroom expenses — two expenses that have emerged as political flash points under Ducey's tenure. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Doug Ducey to sign tax measure — is he violating his pledge to never raise taxes?," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flash point.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flash point

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for flash point

The first known use of flash point was in 1878

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More Definitions for flash point

flash point


English Language Learners Definition of flash point

: a point, place, or situation in which sudden anger or violence could happen

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More from Merriam-Webster on flash point

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flash point

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flash point

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flash point

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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