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breaking point

the point at which a person, object, structure, etc., collapses under stress.
the point at which a situation or condition becomes critical.
Origin of breaking point
1895-1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for breaking-point
Historical Examples
  • It was not long before the relations with the Archbishop became strained to breaking-point.

    Story-Lives of Great Musicians Francis Jameson Rowbotham
  • He had been strained by something or other to the breaking-point—so much was evident.

    IT and Other Stories Gouverneur Morris
  • But this compliance, when all the time she felt further and further away, was straining her to breaking-point.

    Beyond John Galsworthy
  • It was no use; every moment I drew, nearer and nearer to the breaking-point.

    The Lady of the Basement Flat Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • It is then doubled back on itself and pulled again to the breaking-point, and so on time after time until the work is done.

  • Does God try them till they are just at breaking-point, and then gently remove them?

    Dimbie and I--and Amelia Mabel Barnes-Grundy
  • Then they stand nervous tensions worse, the breaking-point comes sooner.

    Marriage H. G. Wells
  • The temper of the master-at-arms was now strained to the breaking-point.

    Lochinvar S. R. Crockett
  • Or it may have been caused by insomnia; or by nerves strained to the breaking-point with trouble and anxiety.

    The Lure of the Pen Flora Klickmann
  • It seemed at first as if her nerves were strained to the breaking-point.

    The Hillman E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for breaking-point

breaking point

the point at which something or someone gives way under strain
the moment of crisis in a situation
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
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breaking-point in Medicine

breaking point break·ing point (brā'kĭng)

  1. The point at which physical, mental, or emotional strength gives way under stress.

  2. The point at which a condition or situation becomes critical.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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