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 area surrounding the offices has been a flash point for protesters for months. Washington Post, "Hong Kong police stop and search people, fire tear gas on protesters as fears of ‘police state’ intensify," 2 Nov. 2019 While the show won’t air live on ABC until Nov. 5, Stamos’ portrayal of Chef Louis has already become a flash point for online fun. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "People Are Having All of the Fun With John Stamos as the Chef in The Little Mermaid," 8 Oct. 2019 The crime and Goetz’s ensuing trial — in which he was acquitted — became a flash point for discourse on gun violence and self-defense. Los Angeles Times, "All 59 people name-dropped in Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’: Where are they now?," 26 Sep. 2019 The 1940s monument, once a prime tourist destination, is now a flash point for protests in support of the opposition driven by critical shortages of medicine and food. Simran Sethi, Washington Post, "Robberies, strawberries and black-market economics: How to bake a cake in Caracas," 24 July 2019 Thirty horses have suffered this fate since Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, a storied racetrack that became a flash point this year for activists who want to ban the sport altogether. Corina Knoll, New York Times, "Why So Many Horses Have Died at Santa Anita," 26 June 2019 YouTube also is prohibiting on children’s videos any commenting, which has been a flash point for the company. Greg Bensinger, BostonGlobe.com, "Google to pay $170 million to settle charges it violated kids’ privacy law on YouTube," 4 Sep. 2019 Headlines that President Donald Trump is reportedly interested in buying Greenland, despite the fact that the island is not for sale became a flash point for online fun. Melissa Locker, Time, "People Have Jokes About President Trump’s Reported Wish to Buy Greenland," 16 Aug. 2019 With the sharp increases in use and overdoses, syringe litter has become a significant flash point for the town’s middle-class residents, particularly because tourism is so important for Eureka and the surrounding region. Jose A. Del Real, New York Times, "Needle by Needle, a Heroin Crisis Grips California’s Rural North," 8 May 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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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

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Flash point.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flash%20point. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flash point

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flash point

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flash point

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