Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong

flash point

or flashpoint

Also, flashing point. Physical Chemistry. the lowest temperature at which a liquid in a specified apparatus will give off sufficient vapor to ignite momentarily on application of a flame.
a critical point or stage at which something or someone suddenly causes or creates some significant action:
A 10 percent drop in mortgage rates will produce a flash point in the housing market.
a critical situation or area having the potential of erupting in sudden violence:
The Mideast has been the flash point for a series of conflicts.
Origin of flash point
First recorded in 1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for flashpoint
Contemporary Examples
British Dictionary definitions for flashpoint

flash point

the lowest temperature at which the vapour above a liquid can be ignited in air
a critical moment beyond which a situation will inevitably erupt into violence: the political mood has reached flash point
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for flashpoint

also flash point, 1878, from flash (v.) + point (n.). Figurative use by 1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
flashpoint in Science
flash point  
The lowest temperature at which the vapor of a flammable liquid will ignite in air. The flash point is generally lower than the temperature needed for the liquid itself to ignite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
flashpoint in Culture

flash point definition

For a given flammable substance, the lowest temperature at which vapors passing from the substance into the air will catch fire spontaneously if a small flame is present.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for flashpoint

flash point

noun phrase

The place or time when something ''takes fire,'' becomes exciting and exemplary: We want the White House to function as a flash point for whatever's great in this couintry

[1990s+; in the technical sense, ''lowest point of ignition of a fluid, compound, etc,'' the term is found by the 1870s]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for flashpoint

Difficulty index for flash point

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for flashpoint

Scrabble Words With Friends