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:
1875–80

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
flash point or flashing point
 
n
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
 
flashing point or flashing point
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
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