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

But the images show the community where these photographers lived as more than just flash points for the headlines of the day. San Diego Union-Tribune, "At San Diego Museum of Art, snapshots of ‘Black Life’," 18 Aug. 2019 The latest flash point: those increasingly prevalent resort fees. Los Angeles Times, "Escapes: Can Kauai be saved from its own success?," 15 Aug. 2019 The territory lying between the two nuclear armed nations was already one of Asia’s most dangerous and militarized flash points, smoldering for decades. New York Times, "Inside Kashmir, Cut Off From the World: ‘A Living Hell’ of Anger and Fear," 10 Aug. 2019 There is no shortage of potential flash points, including the ongoing immigration debate and a possible trade war with China, which coincidentally will host the World Cup from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. Ben Golliver, courant.com, "Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr, two vocal Trump critics, hope Team USA is a ‘unifying’ force," 6 Aug. 2019 The photographs cover a 50-year time span starting in the 1940s when Los Angeles was a flash point for civil rights activism. San Diego Union-Tribune, "9 things to do in San Diego this weekend: San Diego Spirits Festival, ‘Black Life’ exhibit, Symphony at Salk," 23 Aug. 2019 Two flare-ups caught on video during Saturday's protests in Portland have become the latest flash points between ideological opponents. oregonlive.com, "Portland’s Proud Boys, antifa protests cost downtown biz $3M, group says," 21 Aug. 2019 That is a relatively small increase, but Iran is only one of several flash points where political tensions may reduce crude supplies. New York Times, "U.S. Pullout From Iran Nuclear Deal May Unsettle Oil Markets," 9 May 2018 The increasingly heated protests in Hong Kong against China’s influence over the island is another volatile situation that could be a potential flash point in U.S.-China relations. Los Angeles Times, "Trump backs down again, delays many new tariffs on China until December," 13 Aug. 2019

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

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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