Definition of THRESHOLD


Threshold primarily serves as a noun, denoting the point of entry or beginning of a particular state, condition, or experience. It represents a boundary, limit, or level at which something significant happens or changes.

Entry Point and Beginning: As a noun, threshold refers to the physical or metaphorical boundary marking the start of a new phase, situation, or state. It can represent the transition from one state to another, such as entering a building or beginning a new chapter in life.

Boundary and Limit: Threshold also signifies a boundary or limit beyond which a particular action, event, or effect occurs. It may indicate the point at which something becomes possible, permissible, or noticeable.

Level of Sensitivity or Perception: In certain contexts, threshold can denote a level of sensitivity, intensity, or perception required to trigger a response or detect a stimulus. It represents the minimum amount or degree necessary to evoke a reaction or produce an effect.

Examples: Stepping over the threshold of the new house, they embraced the start of their life together. The company set a threshold for customer complaints, beyond which they would launch an investigation. The alarm system was set to trigger if the noise level exceeded a certain threshold.

As a noun, threshold encompasses the notions of entry, boundary, and sensitivity, representing the point at which something begins or changes significantly. Whether marking the start of a journey, defining limits, or determining levels of perception, thresholds play a crucial role in various contexts of human experience.

Examples of THRESHOLD in a sentence

  • She stood at the threshold of her new home, excited to begin this new chapter in her life.
  • The company was on the threshold of a major breakthrough in technology.
  • As the temperature dropped, they reached the threshold of discomfort and decided to go inside.
  • His patience was at its threshold, and he could no longer tolerate the delays.
  • They were on the threshold of success, with just one final obstacle to overcome.
  • The noise level reached the threshold where it became unbearable for the residents.
  • With each step, they inched closer to the threshold of danger.
  • The new law raised the threshold for eligibility, making it harder for people to qualify for assistance.

Etymology of THRESHOLD

The etymology of threshold unfolds in Old English, where it emerged from the combination of “þrescan” and “wold,” depicting the physical boundary beneath a door. As time progressed, the term evolved to symbolize not only a physical entrance but also broader concepts of transition and commencement.

  • Old English: “þrescold” or “þærscwold,” from “þrescan” (to tread, trample) + “wold” (a plank or piece of timber).
  • The term “threshold” has roots in Old English, where it originally denoted the piece of wood or stone placed beneath a door, and later evolved to signify the entrance or boundary itself.
  • “Threshold” has developed from its Old English origins, expanding its meaning beyond the physical entryway to represent a point of transition, beginning, or intensity, both literal and metaphorical.

From its Old English roots, where it denoted a physical plank beneath a door, threshold has journeyed into broader metaphorical realms. It now represents a point of transition, marking the beginning or intensity of an experience, seamlessly blending the physical and metaphorical in its linguistic evolution.


  • Limit
  • Boundary
  • Turning point
  • Cusp
  • Breakpoint
  • Milestone
  • Verge
  • Brink


  • Limit
  • Boundary
  • Turning point
  • Cusp
  • Breakpoint
  • Milestone
  • Verge
  • Brink


  • Activation
  • Transition
  • Trigger
  • Level
  • Measure
  • Point of no return
  • Quota
  • Benchmark

🌐 🇬🇧 THRESHOLD in other languages

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