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

Few people are likely as surprised that Michelle Wolf's monologue became a political and media flash point as Michelle Wolf. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The most provocative thing Michelle Wolf said," 30 Apr. 2018 Debates rage over which front line might become the next flash point. Liz Sly, Washington Post, "Trump’s ‘recklessness’ spurs jitters in the Middle East," 18 May 2018 The Palestinians observed a general strike on Tuesday in protest against Mr. Pence’s visit, and there were minor clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces at some familiar flash points. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Pence Visit Was a Balm to Israelis. Now Back to Reality.," 23 Jan. 2018 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

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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Statistics for flash point

Last Updated

24 May 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

Comments on flash point

What made you want to look up flash point? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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