boiling point

Idioms & Phrases

boiling point

A climax or crisis; a high degree of fury, excitement, or outrage. For example, The union's disgust with management has reached the boiling point. This metaphoric term alludes to the temperature at which water boils. [Second half of 1700s]

  1. have a low boiling point. Become angry quite readily, as in Don't tease her anymoreshe has a low boiling point. This phrase means that it takes less heat than usual for a boiling point to be reached. [First half of 1800s] Also see boil over; make one's blood boil.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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