threshold

[thresh-ohld, thresh-hohld]
noun
1.
the sill of a doorway.
2.
the entrance to a house or building.
3.
any place or point of entering or beginning: the threshold of a new career.
4.
Also called limen. Psychology, Physiology. the point at which a stimulus is of sufficient intensity to begin to produce an effect: the threshold of consciousness; a low threshold of pain.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English threschold, Old English threscold, threscwald; cognate with Old Norse threskǫldr, dialectal Swedish träskvald; akin to thresh in old sense “trample, tread”; -old, -wald unexplained

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
threshold (ˈθrɛʃəʊld, ˈθrɛʃˌhəʊld)
 
n
1.  Also called: doorsill a sill, esp one made of stone or hardwood, placed at a doorway
2.  any doorway or entrance
3.  the starting point of an experience, event, or venture: on the threshold of manhood
4.  psychol absolute threshold Compare difference threshold the strength at which a stimulus is just perceived: the threshold of consciousness
5.  a.  a level or point at which something would happen, would cease to happen, or would take effect, become true, etc
 b.  (as modifier): threshold price; threshold effect
6.  a.  the minimum intensity or value of a signal, etc, that will produce a response or specified effect: a frequency threshold
 b.  (as modifier): a threshold current
7.  (modifier) designating or relating to a pay agreement, clause, etc, that raises wages to compensate for increases in the cost of living
 
Related: liminal
 
[Old English therscold; related to Old Norse threskoldr, Old High German driscubli, Old Swedish thriskuldi]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

threshold
O.E. þrescold, þærscwold, þerxold "doorsill, point of entering," first element related to O.E. þrescan (see thresh), with its original sense of "tread, trample." Second element of unknown origin and much transformed in all the Gmc. languages;
in Eng. it probably has been altered to conform to hold, but the oft-repeated story that the threshold was a barrier placed at the doorway to hold the chaff flooring in the room is mere folk etymology. Cognates include O.N. þreskjoldr, Swed. tröskel, O.H.G. driscufli, Ger. dial. drischaufel.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

threshold thresh·old (thrěsh'ōld', -hōld')
n.

  1. The place or point of beginning; the outset.

  2. The lowest point at which a stimulus begins to produce a sensation.

  3. The minimal stimulus that produces excitation of any structure, eliciting a motor response.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Threshold definition


(1.) Heb. miphtan, probably a projecting beam at a higher point than the threshold proper (1 Sam. 5:4,5; Ezek. 9:3; 10:4,18; 46:2; 47:1); also rendered "door" and "door-post." (2.) 'Asuppim, pl. (Neh. 12:25), rendered correctly "storehouses" in the Revised Version. In 1 Chr. 26:15, 17 the Authorized Version retains the word as a proper name, while in the Revised Version it is translated "storehouses."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
But quickly he returned to the present, the threshold of the future.
Only then do you cross the threshold into being a real explorer with the
  determination to see something epic happen.
When surface temperatures rise to a comfortable threshold, they emerge.
The threshold for a master's degree is three per year, and for a doctorate,
  it's two per year.
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