Definition of threshold in English:


Syllabification: thresh·old
Pronunciation: /ˈTHreSHˌ(h)ōld


  • 1A strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.
    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.
  • 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.
    start, beginning, commencement, brink, verge, cusp, dawn, inception, day one, opening, debut
    informal kickoff
  • 1.2The beginning of an airport runway on which an aircraft is attempting to land.
    More 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 liter
    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, minimum
  • 2.2 Physiology & Psychology A limit below which a stimulus causes no reaction: everyone has a different pain 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 tax threshold has risen to $10,492 of adjusted gross income


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.

More definitions of threshold

Definition of threshold in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmālˌsträm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea