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point of no return

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noun
  1. Aviation. the point in a flight at which an aircraft will lack sufficient fuel to return to its starting point.
  2. the critical point in an undertaking, decision-making process, etc., where one has committed oneself irrevocably to a course of action or policy.
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Origin of point of no return

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for point of no return

Historical Examples

  • As they advanced, they seemed to realize that they had passed a point-of-no-return.

    Naudsonce

    H. Beam Piper


British Dictionary definitions for point of no return

point of no return

noun
  1. a point at which an irreversible commitment must be made to an action, progression, etc
  2. a point in a journey at which, if one continues, supplies will be insufficient for a return to the starting place
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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

Idioms and Phrases with point of no return

point of no return

The place in a course of action beyond which reversal is not possible. For example, Once the contract is signed, we've reached the point of no return. This expression comes from aviation, where it signifies the point where an aircraft does not have enough fuel to return to the starting point. [c. 1940]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.