Definition of threshold in English:



  • 1A strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.

    • ‘Josh stood over the threshold the doorway, smiling to be polite.’
    • ‘Armand stood at the threshold of her curtained room, wondering whether to go in or not.’
    • ‘As the door opened soundlessly, she crossed the threshold and entered into the room.’
    • ‘For those who have not crossed the threshold of a mill for many years, this will be a chance to experience again the sights, smells and sounds of life in a mill.’
    • ‘The smell from that place was so strong, it used to make my friend J. violently ill if we even crossed the threshold at the local mall.’
    • ‘Caitlyn was still with Connor when I entered, the two having just barely crossed the threshold of the room.’
    • ‘For a lot of people just the simple step of entering a church, crossing the threshold, is enormous.’
    • ‘They were standing at the threshold of her room.’
    • ‘Here a convex vinyl ridge across the top of the threshold presses against the bottom of the door for a tight seal against drafts.’
    • ‘French brides stepped upon an egg before crossing the threshold of their new homes.’
    • ‘Emily was in tears before she crossed the threshold into her room.’
    • ‘Make sure basement doors have a threshold or sweep that properly fits.’
    • ‘So that's why I am happy to look at scientology girl, but will never dare cross the threshold and enter the building.’
    • ‘Remove the shoe moldings, trim pieces, door thresholds, and floor grates carefully, using a pry bar and a scrap of wood for a leverage wedge so as not to mar the baseboard.’
    • ‘Door weather stripping is installed on the door frame except for door sweeps and some thresholds.’
    • ‘Remove raised doorway thresholds in all rooms.’
    • ‘I crossed the threshold and re-entered the house, which was buzzing with undying activity.’
    • ‘You should choose the appropriate door sweeps and thresholds for the bottom of the doors as well.’
    • ‘George enters the house, crossing its threshold with one broad step.’
    • ‘These prefabricated door thresholds are for use where two rooms with different floor levels come together.’
    • ‘SureStep is a technology that allows the wheelchair to climb over thresholds up to 3 in.’
    doorstep, sill, doorsill, doorway, entrance, entry, way in, door, gate, gateway, portal, approach
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    1. 1.1[in singular]A point of entry or beginning.
      ‘she was on the threshold of a dazzling career’
      • ‘On the threshold of 2004, what are your expectations on a global scale in view of modern challenges such as international terrorism and international community's efforts to combat it?’
      • ‘They play urban refugees - an unhappily married man and a coffee-shop girl burdened by her ill father - on the threshold of potential love.’
      • ‘But on the threshold of great age he was no nearer an answer.’
      • ‘We're on the threshold of a brand new beginning.’
      • ‘The judge, Mr Justice Wakerley, told Rafaqat: ‘You took the life of your young cousin on the threshold of her marriage.’’
      • ‘We are on the threshold of a new historical event: Bulgaria's accession to the European Union.’
      • ‘Although only on the threshold of life, Raymond and Ellen - who were outgoing and fun loving - had touched the hearts of young and old alike.’
      • ‘Bulgaria is on the threshold of becoming a part of the North Atlantic Alliance; what is your comment on this, against the background of Austria's policy of neutrality?’
      • ‘For a city that is on the threshold of a major expansion, Mr. Monayee's is a gentle reminder that the city should not lose its soul in the search for economic prosperity.’
      • ‘The autobiography covers the author's early years up to the threshold of university.’
      • ‘In the present exhibition the seven participating artists are young and on the threshold of their careers hoping to make works that in time would translate into blue-chip art.’
      • ‘After spreading destruction all over Russia, Hitler's hordes reached Stalingrad, where they believed they were on the threshold of final victory and hunkered down for the winter.’
      • ‘We are on the threshold of a state of social anarchy.’
      • ‘Young students are on the threshold of adulthood, walking through the door to their future.’
      • ‘‘We don't want to talk about it but we are on the threshold of winning the league for the first time ever,’ says Campbell, ensuring that he breathes deeply enough.’
      • ‘A student on the threshold of a new life at university killed himself with a massive cyanide overdose because of the acne that had ‘tormented’ him.’
      • ‘Thanks to the convergence of the information and genome sciences revolution, we are already on the threshold of isolating and characterizing virtually all useful genes.’
      • ‘Recording a verdict of misadventure, deputy coroner Carolyn Singleton said she had heard evidence of a young man on the threshold of his adult life who, for whatever reason, decided to dabble with lighter fuel.’
      • ‘We, his grandparents, see Gareth not just as a grandson, but a friend, a fine young man on the threshold of a wonderful life, which was so tragically cut short, on one of the happiest days of his life.’
      • ‘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.’
      start, starting point, beginning, brink, verge, edge, dawn, birth, origin, inception, conception, opening, launch, inauguration, institution, initiation, debut, creation, day one
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    2. 1.2The beginning of an airport runway on which an aircraft is attempting to land.
      • ‘BA has held preliminary discussions with BAA, which owns Heathrow, about making changes to the infrastructure, to allow for the new landing threshold.’
      • ‘Flight 1420 touched down about 2,000 ft from the runway threshold, to the right of the runway centerline, and moved rapidly to the right.’
      • ‘Not a single word was spoken as we neared the runway threshold, the throttle still wide open.’
      • ‘Just before coming abeam the runway threshold I began a continuous finals turn, Spitfire style.’
      • ‘The jet stopped 100 feet short of the threshold on the 10,000-foot runway.’
      • ‘It is designed to fly under the 4,000 ft threshold used by commercial aircraft.’
      • ‘The Bonanza crossed the runway threshold while the helicopter was still about 250 feet from a planned touchdown point of 1500 feet down the runway.’
      • ‘The aircraft crossed the threshold at 50 feet and the landing lights illuminated the numbers and fixed distance markers.’
      • ‘Try not to think of taxiing as just driving to the runway threshold.’
      • ‘As I turned off the runway, I saw my wingman's landing light disappear into the fog at about 50 feet above the runway threshold.’
      • ‘The aircraft hit the embankment short of the threshold, sliding up it, turning through 90-deg and coming to a stop.’
      • ‘Every additional knot of airspeed when crossing the threshold will cause the aircraft to float an additional 1,000 feet down the runway.’
      • ‘The airplane crashed approximately two miles southeast of the Runway 27 threshold.’
      • ‘Runway 14 began atop a steeply sloping terrace with an abrupt drop-off at the approach end, departure end and left side of the threshold.’
      • ‘Maj Hunter executed a flawless short-field landing and touched down on-speed just past the threshold.’
      • ‘The XP - 38 slammed into a golf course short of the runway threshold and Kelsey was luck to escape with cuts and bruises.’
      • ‘After we passed and began our second missed approach at 400 feet, I saw what appeared to be the first 50 feet or so of the runway threshold.’
  • 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’
    • ‘Reducing the threshold current of the laser was a key step to reducing power consumption.’
    • ‘This outcome reduces the probability the signal will pass the detection threshold, resulting in a missed detection.’
    • ‘Abit's ThermalGuard will immediately shutdown your computer when your CPU die has exceeded its threshold temperature.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If beetle counts are below this level, continue sampling until the threshold is exceeded or beetle activity stops.’
    • ‘Climb to 8,000 or 10,000 feet, and you may be well inside the ice-crystal threshold.’
    • ‘Their observations also support the arguments of the Paris-Cambridge theorists about how the ear detects signals below the threshold for thermal noise.’
    • ‘Alas, reaction to such obvious sadomasochistic goading exceeds the energy threshold of this reviewer.’
    • ‘Different pressures, such as overgrazing or drought, can push land over the threshold.’
    • ‘Agents, chosen randomly, will move to a free space if the number of near neighbours of a different colour exceeds some threshold.’
    • ‘Although no wartime sorties are missed, the number of available engines comes very close to dropping below the threshold needed to maintain sorties.’
    • ‘By then I might even have crossed the 14 stone threshold that in my poorly thought out diet plan was going to be my mark for a return to drinking wine (beer coming back into play at 13 and a half stone).’
    • ‘If the comparison quality measure exceeds a threshold, a match is determined to have been made.’
    • ‘And still major leaguers blew it last season, triggering a more stringent form of testing by exceeding the five-percent threshold of positive results.’
    • ‘Each text line is partitioned into blocks, and those of which contain a certain threshold percentage of text pixels are identified as valid.’
    • ‘The user may choose to be informed when the total number of unread messages exceeds a threshold.’
    • ‘When the queue length for each output port exceeds a threshold value, the CS originates the cell inhibiting signal to all IXBs.’
    • ‘To avoid this artifact, we excluded the values below the threshold intensity from the average calculation.’
    • ‘We all of us exhibit such repeats, but they are only problematic if they exceed a certain threshold number or size.’
    • ‘First, most midwestern mine grasslands exceed the apparent size thresholds for even the most area-sensitive grassland species.’
    • ‘Above the photoelectric threshold, photoelectrons are emitted in proportion to the intensity of incident light.’
    • ‘This provides some suppression, but the residual signal may still exceed detection thresholds.’
    • ‘As a result, the effect on development of temperatures that exceed stress thresholds is qualitatively different on an embryo's first day as compared with later days.’
    • ‘Only the largest males in a population defend nests; they must pass a threshold size to carry shells.’
    1. 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’
      • ‘The clinical risks of sensitivity and specificity also should be considered in identifying the threshold glycemic level.’
      • ‘Moreover, there is an indication that the threshold of sucrose concentration may be lower in the bundle sheath than in the mesophyll.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We considered drivers negative if their urine tests were negative or their blood concentrations below these thresholds.’
      • ‘There is a threshold below which radiation is safe and above which it becomes dangerous.’
      • ‘However, if the threshold for normal cholesterol is also applied half of the population would be considered at risk by the early age of 24 years.’
      • ‘The hunchback gene is switched on only when bicoid protein, a transcription factor, is present at a certain threshold concentration.’
      • ‘Lowering the PSA threshold for proceeding to prostate biopsy would increase the risks of overdiagnosing and overtreating clinically unimportant disease.’
      • ‘This finding will make ongoing state and federal legislative efforts to craft safe exposure thresholds in response to growing public concern and litigation over mold more difficult, policy analysts say.’
      • ‘This information was essential in permitting an accurate estimation of the safety thresholds of inhaled corticosteroid use and in eliminating confounding by use of oral corticosteroids.’
      • ‘What can be done if the concentration of metallic elements rises above the toxic threshold, particularly those that have no known function in the body?’
      • ‘The threshold for CEMA concentrations toxic to tobacco cells was found to be 30-35 g ml - 1.’
      • ‘The WHO-proposed threshold for Der p1 allergen concentration is 2 [micro] g/gm dust.’
      • ‘There is a threshold of ATP concentration which stimulated the binding remarkably.’
      • ‘There seems to be a threshold plasma concentration below which symptoms may become apparent.’
      • ‘The Commission is of the view that the existing thresholds allow concentrations that have significant cross-border effects to fall outside the Regulation.’
      • ‘Finally, salbutamol pretreatment might hasten lidocaine absorption and increase peak lidocaine plasma concentrations toward the toxic threshold.’
      • ‘When it comes to carcinogens and toxins, for example, Priceless assumes that there is no safe threshold.’
      • ‘Exposure concentrations were well below threshold limit values, and hepatotoxicity was not predicted for these compounds.’
      lower limit, starting point, minimum, margin
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    2. 2.2Physiology Psychology A limit below which a stimulus causes no reaction.
      ‘everyone has a different pain threshold’
      • ‘If you have a low threshold for boredom, you'll probably end up with a ‘kerchief.’
      • ‘Absence makes your boredom threshold lower, as well as your heart sore.’
      • ‘Richard is the high school superstar, with a rich daddy and a low boredom threshold.’
      • ‘Moreover, there is no evidence based recommendation of a risk threshold above which no attempt should be made.’
      • ‘In the case of sugar, which is picked up by receptors on the tongue, flavor enhancers bind to the receptors and lower their threshold for stimulation, creating the same taste with less sugar.’
      • ‘Thus, units with preinspiratory discharge patterns may have comparatively low thresholds to stimulation by central chemoreceptor afferent inputs relative to inspiratory units.’
      • ‘They also reported that the simple cells of young rats showed lower light flicker thresholds as well as a preference for slower movement speeds compared to complex and hypercomplex cells.’
      • ‘Tissue congestion and inflammation tend to sensitize nerve endings and lower the threshold for stimuli.’
      • ‘Professionals should have a low threshold for enquiring about mental health issues in children as parents rarely raise these concerns.’
      • ‘Conditioned to expect immediate gratification, these youth have shorter attention spans and also a low threshold for boredom.’
      • ‘A limit is place on the threshold that will be tolerated.’
      • ‘Kagan and his colleagues have hypothesized that inhibited children have a lower threshold for sympathetic activation.’
      • ‘Houseguests with low boredom thresholds can take advantage of all that Ayrshire has to offer; Burns's Cottage, Ayr Racecourse and the golf courses at Royal Troon, Prestwick and Turnberry are all within easy reach.’
      • ‘Patients with head injury should therefore not be pushed to return to demanding activities too quickly, and there should be a low threshold for seeking a specialist opinion or undertaking psychometric assessment.’
      • ‘In contrast, introverts are thought to be more socially conforming, more sensitive to reinforcement, have lower sensory thresholds, and therefore feel pain more easily.’
      • ‘These mediators lower the nociceptor threshold, making the receptors more responsive to painful stimuli.’
      • ‘A few years after college, a freak accident - and one seriously low threshold for boredom - redirected Jaime's life.’
      • ‘Lower pain thresholds and potentially lower thresholds for other nociceptive stimuli such as HTS would be consistent with systemic nociceptive dysfunction in CFS.’
    3. 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.