turning point

noun
1.
a point at which a decisive change takes place; critical point; crisis.
2.
a point at which something changes direction, especially a high or low point on a graph.
3.
Surveying. a point temporarily located and marked in order to establish the elevation or position of a surveying instrument at a new station.

Origin:
1850–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
turning point
 
n
1.  a moment when the course of events is changed: the turning point of his career
2.  a point at which there is a change in direction or motion
3.  maths a stationary point at which the first derivative of a function changes sign, so that typically its graph does not cross a horizontal tangent
4.  surveying a point to which a foresight and a backsight are taken in levelling; change point

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
It may be our lot to experience, and in large measure to bring about, a major
  turning point in the long history of the human race.
For both writers, the evening would prove a turning point.
We certainly are today at a turning point, and this industry needs to now find
  new niches in order to grow again.
The turning point seems to have come with the generation born in the
  nineteen-forties.
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