threshold

noun
thresh·​old | \ ˈthresh-ˌhōld How to pronounce threshold (audio) , ˈthre-ˌshōld \

Definition of threshold

1 : the plank, stone, or piece of timber that lies under a door : sill
2a : gate, door
b(1) : end, boundary specifically : the end of a runway
(2) : the place or point of entering or beginning : outset on the threshold of a new age
3a : the point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins to be produced has a high threshold for pain
b : a level, point, or value above which something is true or will take place and below which it is not or will not

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Synonyms for threshold

Synonyms

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The earliest known use of threshold in the English language is from Alfred the Great's Old English translation of the Roman philosopher Boethius's De consolatione philosophiae. In this translation, which was written around 888, threshold appears as þeorscwold (that first letter is called a thorn and it was used in Old English and Middle English to indicate the sounds produced by th in thin and this). The origins of this Old English word are not known, though it is believed to be related to Old English threscan, from which we get the words thresh, meaning "to separate seed from (a harvested plant) using a machine or tool" and thrash, meaning, among other things, "to beat soundly with or as if with a stick or whip."

Examples of threshold in a Sentence

… we still hadn't grasped that we had crossed a threshold where it no longer mattered what passport you carried, that you were young and loved, … or that you were a noncombatant. — Paul Salopek, National Geographic, April 2008 As we speak, the very worst of humanity is on the threshold of acquiring the most powerful weapons in history—this is a fear and a consideration to be taken very seriously. — Charles Krauthammer, New Republic, 29 Apr. 2002 We thought that we were on the threshold of an age of space travel. But the greatest impact of the trip to the moon was on how we view the Earth. — Suzannah Lessard, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2001 He stepped across the threshold. If your income rises above a certain threshold, your tax rate also rises.
Recent Examples on the Web The ordinance sets a daytime temperature requirement of at least 68 degrees from Sept. 15 to June 1, but has no requirement that the heat has to stay on if temperatures will naturally exceed that threshold. Robert Mccoppin, Chicago Tribune, 16 May 2022 But as greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning have continued to increase, a new report from the World Meteorological Organization shows global temperatures could temporarily hit that threshold within the next five years. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 Additional benefits would be available if units are set aside for people making less than that threshold. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 10 May 2022 If no one reaches that threshold, then the two candidates with the most votes move on to a runoff election. Ryan Tarinelli, Arkansas Online, 8 May 2022 That threshold now stands at $21,360 for the S, which is more than $1000 higher than last year, but that's offset by new standard equipment including forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 6 May 2022 Workers in plans that offer bitcoin could allocate as much as 20% of their nest eggs to it, although employers can reduce that threshold. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, 5 May 2022 The level of the reservoir on the Arizona-Utah border now stands about 32 feet above that threshold. Ian Jamesstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 The tax credit also sunsets once a car manufacturer has sold 200,000 plug-in vehicles, although, so far, only Tesla and General Motors have crossed that threshold. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'threshold.' 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 threshold

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for threshold

Middle English thresshold, from Old English threscwald; akin to Old Norse threskjǫldr threshold, Old English threscan to thresh

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Time Traveler for threshold

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The first known use of threshold was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near threshold

threshing machine

threshold

threshold exposure

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Threshold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/threshold. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for threshold

threshold

noun
thresh·​old | \ ˈthresh-ˌhōld How to pronounce threshold (audio) \

Kids Definition of threshold

1 : the sill of a door
2 : a point or place of beginning or entering Ralph had a scary feeling he was on the threshold of adventure.— Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle

threshold

noun
thresh·​old | \ ˈthresh-ˌ(h)ōld How to pronounce threshold (audio) \

Medical Definition of threshold

: the point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins to be produced (as the degree of stimulation of a nerve which just produces a response or the concentration of sugar in the blood at which sugar just begins to pass the barrier of the kidneys and enter the urine) below the threshold of consciousness the threshold of pain a high renal clearance threshold

called also limen

threshold

noun
thresh·​old | \ ˈthresh-ˌhōld How to pronounce threshold (audio) \

Legal Definition of threshold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a point of beginning : a minimum requirement for further action specifically : a determination (as of fact or the existence of a reasonable doubt) upon which something else (as further consideration or a right of action) hinges the threshold for inquiry

threshold

adjective

Legal Definition of threshold (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a threshold the threshold issue in a negligence action is whether the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiffNoakes v. City of Seattle, 895 P.2d 842 (1995) a threshold showing of the need for psychiatric evaluation

More from Merriam-Webster on threshold

Nglish: Translation of threshold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of threshold for Arabic Speakers

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