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

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 case involving undeveloped land near Lost Mountain Park has become a flash point for critics of the cityhood effort. Brian Eason, ajc, 24 Apr. 2022 Coronavirus policies in schools have been a nationwide flash point throughout the pandemic. Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2022 But their disagreement over safe use represented just one flash point in an ongoing debate about how to best help alleviate San Francisco’s opioid crisis. Danielle Echeverria, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Feb. 2022 Yoon has proposed to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, which has become a flash point for the gender war. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Amid this heightened tension, the drone strike in particular became a flash point for the Kremlin. New York Times, 15 Nov. 2021 During this latest immigration flash point, White House officials on Tuesday struggled to explain the searing images of border agents treating Haitian migrants harshly and attempting to force them back across the Rio Grande into Mexico. BostonGlobe.com, 22 Sep. 2021 Closer to home, the Bay Area has been a flash point for anti-Asian incidents, ranging from verbal harassment to deadly violence. Deepa Fernandes, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Mar. 2022 But, by then, struggles over exclusionary zoning had become the flash point in civil-rights campaigns to desegregate the suburbs. Gideon Lewis-kraus, The New Yorker, 23 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of flash point

1878, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About flash point

Time Traveler for flash point

Time Traveler

The first known use of flash point was in 1878

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near flash point

flash plate

flash point

flash ranging

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for flash point

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flash point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flash%20point. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on flash point

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flash point


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!