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 The Farewell, in which Awkwafina stars as Billi, a Chinese American woman who travels to China to see her dying grandmother, the question of billing became a small flash point. Ryan Mcginley; Styling By Yashua Simmons, Harper's BAZAAR, "You Know Awkwafina, But Have You Met Nora Lum?," 15 Jan. 2021 Three months to the day after his daughter’s birth, Hylton was killed in a crash that quickly became another flash point in the months of racial justice protests in the District and around the country. Washington Post, "Karon Hylton’s mother arrested at protest outside D.C. police station," 20 Dec. 2020 Even on Conan, a series that refused to abandon its usual comedy bits during Trump’s administration, the president still served as a flash point for behind-the-scenes strife. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "What Will Late-Night TV Do After Trump?," 17 Dec. 2020 That family factor has become harder to ignore, and many experts have pointed to Thanksgiving gatherings as a flash point for the current surge. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Inside our struggling hospitals," 16 Dec. 2020 Every one of those foreign-policy issues—from Iran, Iraq, and Middle East peace to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and Somali warlords—remains a flash point. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "What Will a Vengeful President Do to the World in His Final Weeks?," 19 Nov. 2020 Burrell’s case became a flash point in Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s presidential bid earlier this year when the Associated Press published an investigation raising concerns outlined in the report. Chao Xiong, Star Tribune, "Expert panel recommends releasing Myon Burrell from prison, more investigation," 8 Dec. 2020 But this week, the city and the state struck back, making this tavern a flash point in the Covid culture wars that have turned some business owners and party hosts into rebels against pandemic restrictions. New York Times, "After Bar Manager’s Arrest, Covid Culture Wars Escalate on Staten Island," 2 Dec. 2020 The one flash point in the hearing’s first three hours came from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who was the rare senior lawmaker Wednesday who seemed able to both jab across the aisle and question the drug industry. Nicholas Florko, STAT, "‘You just got better at making money’: Democrats blast Celgene, Teva for price hikes detailed in internal documents," 30 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for flash point

Time Traveler

The first known use of flash point was in 1878

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Statistics for flash point

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flash point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flash%20point. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on flash point

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flash point

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flash point

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