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flash point

noun
1.
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.
2.
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.
3.
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.
Also, flashpoint.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for flash point
  • Childhood obesity will be the flash point for fights about limits on food marketing.
  • The payroll report has also become a flash point for political arguments.
  • Geopolitically, it is a perennial potential flash point.
  • flash point data for this chemical are not available.
  • The flash point of a material is a good indicator of how likely it is to catch on fire if there is an ignition source nearby.
  • The flash point is one measurement of the temperature at which a chemical will ignite.
  • In general, as flash point increases, so does safety.
British Dictionary definitions for flash point

flash point

noun
1.
the lowest temperature at which the vapour above a liquid can be ignited in air
2.
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
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flash point 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.
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flash point 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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for flash point

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.
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Encyclopedia Article for flash point

the lowest temperature at which a petroleum product will burn. Below this temperature insufficient petroleum vapour is available to support combustion. Before gasoline became important, kerosene was the main petroleum product produced. The tendency to leave as much of the highly volatile gasoline as possible in the kerosene caused numerous fires and explosions in tanks and oil lamps. Legal measures were instituted to curb the danger, and test methods were prescribed and minimum flash points set

Learn more about flash point with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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11
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