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Breaking point   /brˈeɪkɪŋ pɔɪnt/   Listen
Breaking point

(psychology) stress at which a person breaks down or a situation becomes crucial.
The degree of tension or stress at which something breaks.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Breaking point" Quotes from Famous Books

... been a rebel as well as a king. Alone of all creeds, Christianity has added courage to the virtues of the Creator. For the only courage worth calling courage must necessarily mean that the soul passes a breaking point—and does not break. In this indeed I approach a matter more dark and awful than it is easy to discuss; and I apologise in advance if any of my phrases fall wrong or seem irreverent touching a matter which the greatest saints and thinkers have justly feared ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... constitution should thereafter be modified only with the express approval of the people.[447] These reforms, however, were belated. They came only after the popularity of the Emperor had been strained to the breaking point, and by reason of the almost immediate coming on of the war with Prussia there was scant opportunity for the testing of ...
— The Governments of Europe • Frederic Austin Ogg

... Senator tells himself, for the hundredth time in the last two years, that they have now come to the breaking point—that if Nancy will not take the only reasonable course open to her, then that Gerald must be nerved to make, as men have so often had to make, the great renouncement. To go on as he is now doing is not only wrong as regards himself, it is wrong as ...
— The End of Her Honeymoon • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... February slipped away in snow and sleet, and March came in with a gale that whistled and moaned around the old house, and set loose blinds to swinging and loose gates to creaking in a way that was most trying to nerves already stretched to the breaking point. ...
— Pollyanna Grows Up • Eleanor H. Porter

... It was no longer possible to judge his faith by her own, scorning all doubt of him as she would have scorned the grossest of temptations. She could have borne the news of his death without outward evidence of emotion, but this bewilderment and uncertainty taxed her strength almost to the breaking point. Through the days, with the help of her work, she kept herself so well in hand as almost to believe that the victory was lasting. But as the dusk settled down, the old questioning began. Would he come? ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... that he had created. She was his faith, his religion, his shrine. She was on a pedestal from which she shed a pale gold light—silvery gold—of serenity won through suffering. He saw her very seldom, but when he was with her she reminded him of a catch in the voice. It was as if her life had reached breaking point and for one moment she would give him as divine gift a little poignant stumble before she regained the sure foothold of her calm courage. It was these precious moments that gave a burning spirit to his image of her. The legend had ...
— Balloons • Elizabeth Bibesco

... aunt, you know, that they lived with —one of those old porcelain ladies with a lace cap and a rent-roll.) However, I could not do anything for two days, for we had reached a crisis in the labor troubles, and matters were approaching the breaking point. We were threatened with one of those "sympathetic" strikes that drive business men crazy. There was no question at issue between ourselves and our employees; but the thing ramified off somewhere to the sugar ...
— The Motormaniacs • Lloyd Osbourne

... idea is a good one. That last minute, the other side of the breaking point, is worth ...
— 21 • Frank Crane

... as he writes John's heart seems near the breaking point, and a sob shakes his pen a bit, as it comes over him all anew, and almost overcomes him, how this wondrous Jesus, this throbbing heart of God, was treated. Listen: "He came to His own possessions, and they who were His—own—kinsfolk—and ...
— Quiet Talks about Jesus • S. D. Gordon

... heat of summer, the shriek of the wind, and the scream of the birds in autumn would bring a little pucker between her brows; the storm would drive her spirits up to breaking point, the calm would leave her eyes full of trouble; in the woods she would stop and turn to listen, then frown and ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... whirling them onward to some unseen end, was more than sufficient to convince them all that life was fast becoming a very uncertain quantity. No one knew what the morrow might bring forth; and all, with the exception of the Captain, were wrought up to a pitch of nervous tension that threatened the breaking point. Don Felipe shadowed Chiquita and the Captain—Chiquita and Blanch regarded one another with increasing suspicion—Dick pressed his suit with the ardor of desperation; while the Colonel and Mrs. Forest nagged on all sides. Even Senora wore an ...
— When Dreams Come True • Ritter Brown

... not say it. Close to the breaking point, she was ready now to give up to him more than he might care for—the only shred left which she had shrunk from letting him think was within his reach ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... reading the second act at the place where Isolde, ignoring Brangaene's advice, signals to Tristan with the handkerchief. She glanced down the lines, hearing the motive on the 'cellos, then, in precipitated rhythm, taken up by the violins. When the emotion has reached breaking point, Tristan rushes into Isolde's arms, and the frantic happiness of the lovers is depicted in short, hurried phrases. The score slipped from her hands and her thoughts ran in reminiscence of a similar scene which she had endured in Venice nearly four years ago. She had not seen Owen for ...
— Evelyn Innes • George Moore

... tension had about reached the breaking point there came a sound of stealthy movement just outside the door of his room. Barney halted close to the massive panels. He heard a key fitted quietly and then the lock grated as ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... reef without difficulty, then turned to swim along it. The trough just seaward of the breaking point of the waves was the most comfortable swimming position and they went in ...
— The Wailing Octopus • Harold Leland Goodwin

... and crashed into the snow between a row of ash barrels, and a dilapidated board fence. The young man stared in surprise as he waited for the other to regain his feet. The officer's words had roused a sudden flash of fury, and with nerves already strained to the breaking point, he had struck. But the man, grotesquely sprawled behind ...
— The Challenge of the North • James Hendryx

... glancing at Mrs. Carr's bent head, where the thin hair was wound into a tight knot and held in place by a tortoise-shell comb with a carved top, she wondered how her mother could possibly keep it up day after day as she did? But, if she had only known it, this silence, which tried her nerves to the breaking point, was positively soothing to her mother. Mrs. Carr could keep it up not only for days and weeks, but, had it been necessary, she could have kept it up with equal success for half a lifetime. While ...
— Life and Gabriella - The Story of a Woman's Courage • Ellen Glasgow

Words linked to "Breaking point" :   psychological science, tension, stress, psychology, tenseness

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