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[thresh-ohld, thresh-hohld] /ˈθrɛʃ oʊld, ˈθrɛʃ hoʊld/
the sill of a doorway.
the entrance to a house or building.
any place or point of entering or beginning:
the threshold of a new career.
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.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for thresholds
  • Athletes rich in slow-twitch muscle fibers appear to have higher lactate thresholds.
  • However, serotonin and pain thresholds have been linked.
  • In other cases, he said, there could be important thresholds.
  • To a geophysicist, there are two significant thresholds relating to the size of celestial objects.
  • The judge agreed today that both thresholds had been reached.
  • To do that, each diagnosis was defined by a list of symptoms, with numerical thresholds.
  • High tide and raw sewage continually threaten to rise up over the thresholds of its thousands of plank-and-corrugated-iron shacks.
  • Between them they provide four thresholds, or directions, to land.
  • The only problem is, we've already crossed three of those thresholds.
  • Formal models can give us a better guide as to thresholds which should concern us.
British Dictionary definitions for thresholds


/ˈθrɛʃəʊld; ˈθrɛʃˌhəʊld/
Also called doorsill. a sill, esp one made of stone or hardwood, placed at a doorway
any doorway or entrance
the starting point of an experience, event, or venture: on the threshold of manhood
(psychol) the strength at which a stimulus is just perceived: the threshold of consciousness Compare absolute threshold, difference threshold
  1. a level or point at which something would happen, would cease to happen, or would take effect, become true, etc
  2. (as modifier): threshold price, threshold effect
  1. the minimum intensity or value of a signal, etc, that will produce a response or specified effect: a frequency threshold
  2. (as modifier): a threshold current
(modifier) designating or relating to a pay agreement, clause, etc, that raises wages to compensate for increases in the cost of living
adjective liminal
Word Origin
Old English therscold; related to Old Norse threskoldr, Old High German driscubli, Old Swedish thriskuldi
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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Word Origin and History for thresholds



Old English þrescold, þærscwold, þerxold "doorsill, point of entering," first element related to Old English þrescan (see thresh), with its original sense of "tread, trample." Second element of unknown origin and much transformed in all the Germanic languages; in English 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 Old Norse þreskjoldr, Swedish tröskel, Old High German driscufli, German dialectal drischaufel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thresholds in Medicine

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

  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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thresholds in the Bible

(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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