American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The point at which physical, mental, or emotional strength gives way under stress.
- n. The point at which a condition or situation becomes critical.
- n. mechanics The point at which the increasing strain in a material causes it to break
- n. figuratively A moment of crisis, particulary one precipitated by a "last straw"
- n. (psychology) stress at which a person breaks down or a situation becomes crucial
- n. the degree of tension or stress at which something breaks
“As these facts became known, it was obvious to the Brigade Commander, as it was plain to Tinker, that 3 RCR Battle Group was close to the breaking point and that the crack might appear before first light if the enemy's next attempt were not held up.”
“Unfortunately, the acquisitions budget had been stretched almost to the breaking point with the purchase and the packing and the insurance and the best the museum could afford was a Danish freighter heading out of Liverpool for Halifax.”
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