Definition of threshold noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈθreʃhəʊld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈθreʃhoʊld//
    Parts of a house, Architectural features
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  1. 1the floor or ground at the bottom of a doorway, considered as the entrance to a building or room She stood hesitating on the threshold. He stepped across the threshold. See related entries: Parts of a house, Architectural features
  2. 2the level at which something starts to happen or have an effect He has a low boredom threshold (= he gets bored easily). I have a high pain threshold (= I can suffer a lot of pain before I start to react). My earnings are just above the tax threshold (= more than the amount at which you start paying tax).
  3. 3[usually singular] the point just before a new situation, period of life, etc. begins She felt as though she was on the threshold of a new life.
  4. Word OriginOld 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.Extra examples He has an extremely low pain threshold. He hesitated before stepping across the threshold. Her wages are below the income tax threshold. She stood on the threshold, unsure whether to enter. The number of people with the disease is reaching a critical threshold. They earn wages below the decency threshold set by the EU.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: threshold