follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for flashpoint
  • The first flashpoint was the question of how much oil was leaking from the wellhead and where it was going.
  • Unpaid wages are a common flashpoint for urban workers, as are arbitrary land grabs by the authorities in the countryside.
  • The potential exists for the dam to turn into another regional flashpoint.
  • But the political flashpoint has raged around the boat arrivals.
  • Using these trees, they were generally able to identify a flashpoint at which the crowd determined which way the fight would go.
  • In certain events that leave their mark on pop culture, there comes a flashpoint when everyone's talking about the same thing.
  • The specific flashpoint must be accurately identified by the mailer before a mailability determination can be made.
  • Ethanol can also be blended into diesel fuel, but this blend is not as safe as conventional diesel because of its low flashpoint.
British Dictionary definitions for flashpoint

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for flashpoint
n.

also flash point, 1878, from flash (v.) + point (n.). Figurative use by 1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
flashpoint 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.
Cite This Source
flashpoint 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.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for flashpoint

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.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for flashpoint

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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for flashpoint

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for flashpoint