tipping point

noun

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 Once theoretical, now real The idea of tipping points was introduced 20 years ago by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Climate change driving entire planet to dangerous 'tipping point‘," 27 Nov. 2019 For half a century, this notorious crime has been regarded as a grim cultural watershed, one of those tipping points at which American innocence — not to mention California dreamin’ — began a prolonged, agonized slide into the Pacific. Tom Gliatto, PEOPLE.com, "The 10 Best Movies of the Year, According to PEOPLE’s Critic," 26 Dec. 2019 There must be thresholds and tipping points in a warming world. The Economist, "The past, present and future of climate change," 21 Sep. 2019 It's also expected to say warming is so far advanced that tipping points have been crossed and some of the more severe consequences can no longer be avoided, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillip. CBS News, "U.N. climate report warns rising sea levels could displace millions," 23 Sep. 2019 Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. NBC News, "Read Greta Thunberg's full speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit," 23 Sep. 2019 The study supports a recent U.N. report, which shows the Earth's oceans have reached tipping points, where some of the more severe consequences of climate change can no longer be avoided. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "More than 11,000 scientists officially declare a "climate emergency"," 5 Nov. 2019 Sign up for a free trial of Quartz membership, and read our premium field guide on the airline industry’s tipping point. Natasha Frost, Quartzy, "Finnair’s success reveals that, for most people, flight shame simply isn’t an option," 22 Oct. 2019 But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution, or the aspects of equity and climate justice. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Greta Thunberg," 25 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of tipping point

1959, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tipping point

Time Traveler for tipping point

Time Traveler

The first known use of tipping point was in 1959

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tipping point

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tipping point.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tipping%20point. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Comments on tipping point

What made you want to look up tipping point? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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