tipping point


Definition of tipping point 

: the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place

Examples of tipping point in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

North Korea and Iran represent tipping points in their regions. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "John Bolton Is No Bugaboo," 26 Mar. 2018 One tip pointed investigators to Becker, according to the court document. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Aunt of boy hurt in Bartlett Lake hit-and-run: Arrest brings relief but no fix," 16 Mar. 2018 Everyone has some intuition for tipping points from see-saws. Nathan Hurst, Smithsonian, "Can Social Media Help Us Spot Vaccine Scares and Predict Outbreaks?," 19 Jan. 2018 For immigration restrictionists, the temptation of Trump was especially high, not unlike the urgency felt by climate-change activists over tipping points, with a choice between getting control of the border and losing it for good. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "Roy Moore, Donald Trump, and the Flight 93 Presidency," 10 Dec. 2017 There may be tipping points in the climate system—difficult-to-predict points of no return—that researchers may not fully understand. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "A Major New U.S. Report Affirms: Climate Change Is Getting Worse," 3 Nov. 2017 Some scientists predict the boreal forest may reach a disastrous—and irreversible—tipping point this century and shift from carbon storehouse into a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. National Geographic, "Forest Fires Can Heat Up the Whole Planet," 23 June 2016

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

1959, in the meaning defined above

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tipping point


tippling house


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Time Traveler for tipping point

The first known use of tipping point was in 1959

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playful or foolish behavior

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