|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.
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 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]