defining moment

noun
a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified.

Origin:
1980–85

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  defining moment
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  an occurrence that typifies or determines all related events that follow
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Example sentences
Most of us don't consider childbirth to be the defining moment of our lives.
It has become a major, defining moment, for those who pursue the political and
  social propaganda.
It is thus considered a defining moment in the history of science.
Her dying was the defining moment of my life and it overshadowed everything
  else about her.
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