Definition of threshold in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈθrɛʃəʊld/
Pronunciation: /ˈθrɛʃˌhəʊld/


1A strip of wood or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room: he stood on the threshold of Sheila’s bedroom
More example sentences
  • George enters the house, crossing its threshold with one broad step.
  • As the door opened soundlessly, she crossed the threshold and entered into the room.
  • Emily was in tears before she crossed the threshold into her room.
doorstep, sill, doorsill, doorway, entrance, entry, way in, door, gate, gateway, portal, approach
1.1 [in singular] A point of entry or beginning: she was on the threshold of a dazzling career
More example sentences
  • Although he was not yet wholly able to make a living from sales of his work, he had grown close to the leading surrealists and was on the threshold of fame following his first solo exhibition.
  • We are on the threshold of a new historical event: Bulgaria's accession to the European Union.
  • Young students are on the threshold of adulthood, walking through the door to their future.
1.2The beginning of an airport runway on which an aircraft is attempting to land.
Example sentences
  • Just before coming abeam the runway threshold I began a continuous finals turn, Spitfire style.
  • Try not to think of taxiing as just driving to the runway threshold.
  • The XP - 38 slammed into a golf course short of the runway threshold and Kelsey was luck to escape with cuts and bruises.
2The magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested: nothing happens until the signal passes the threshold [as modifier]: a threshold level
More example sentences
  • When the queue length for each output port exceeds a threshold value, the CS originates the cell inhibiting signal to all IXBs.
  • As soon as the measured pressure change exceeds the threshold, the EGR system is deemed to pass the restriction test, and the test method is terminated.
  • This outcome reduces the probability the signal will pass the detection threshold, resulting in a missed detection.
2.1The maximum level of radiation or a concentration of a substance considered to be acceptable or safe: their water would meet the safety threshold of 50 milligrams of nitrates per litre
More example sentences
  • Finally, salbutamol pretreatment might hasten lidocaine absorption and increase peak lidocaine plasma concentrations toward the toxic threshold.
  • At a conservative calculation, around 250,000 people are currently exposed to levels above the accepted safety thresholds.
  • Evaluation of substances for which a threshold limit did not exist were then carried out.
lower limit, starting point, minimum, margin;
Psychology  limen
2.2The level at which one starts to feel or react to something: he has a low boredom threshold
More example sentences
  • Conditioned to expect immediate gratification, these youth have shorter attention spans and also a low threshold for boredom.
  • These mediators lower the nociceptor threshold, making the receptors more responsive to painful stimuli.
  • Lower pain thresholds and potentially lower thresholds for other nociceptive stimuli such as HTS would be consistent with systemic nociceptive dysfunction in CFS.
2.3A level, rate, or amount at which something comes into effect: the inheritance tax threshold
More example sentences
  • Without doubt, the 50 per cent increase in stamp duty rates and thresholds will have the single most negative impact.
  • On vacant land, the thresholds are $140,000 for metropolitan areas and $110,000 in regional areas.
  • The amount is below the threshold for inheritance tax, so there's no tax due immediately.


Old English therscold, threscold; related to German dialect Drischaufel; the first element is related to thresh (in a Germanic sense 'tread'), but the origin of the second element is unknown.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: thresh|old

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