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 Dakota Access has also reemerged as a flash point after a federal judge ruled over the summer that the pipeline must be shut down until a more robust environmental review was completed. Rachel Adams-heard, Bloomberg.com, "Pipeline Mogul Follows Playbook, Stepping Down But Staying," 9 Oct. 2020 The criticism from O’Connor, a conservative stalwart who was previously lieutenant governor, comes as drop box access has become a political flash point. Washington Post, "‘A blatant and unfounded attack’: Ohio’s chief justice, a Republican, blasts state GOP for accusing judge of political bias," 17 Sep. 2020 To wear a mask or not continues to be a personal, political and cultural flash point in the country, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says face coverings can slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Doesn't seem like a big deal': For a mask skeptic, news that Trump has COVID-19 doesn't change things," 2 Oct. 2020 Trump's handling of the pandemic has already been a major flash point in his race against Biden, who spent much of the summer off the campaign trail and at his home in Delaware citing concern about the virus. Star Tribune, "President is hospitalized with COVID-19," 2 Oct. 2020 The move, meanwhile, has also become the latest flash point between Bolsonaro and Paulo Guedes, economy minister and market darling. Andrew Rosati, Bloomberg.com, "Bolsonaro’s Newfound Appetite for Spending Has Markets on Edge," 2 Oct. 2020 The back-and-forth was a final flash point in a week that demonstrated much broader challenges for the candidates and voters alike in 2020. Steve Peoples, Anchorage Daily News, "Dueling versions of reality define 1st week of fall campaign," 6 Sep. 2020 Bryant had inadvertently stepped into a radical experiment that in less than a week’s time would become a flash point in discussions of homelessness and police brutality. Wes Enzinna, Harper's Magazine, "The Sanctuary," 15 Sep. 2020 Walker’s case is the latest civil rights flash point in Georgia. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, "Georgia deputy fired after video showed him repeatedly punching a Black man in traffic stop," 14 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

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flash point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flash%20point. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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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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