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From Middle English threschwolde, threscholde, from Old English þresċold, þerxold, þrexwold (doorsill", "point of entering), from Old English þresċan (thresh), from Proto-Germanic *þreskaną (thresh) and *-thlo (instrumental suffix); the first part ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *terh₁- (to rub, turn).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈθɹeʃ(h)əʊld/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈθɹɛʃ(h)oʊld/
  • (file)


threshold (plural thresholds)

  1. The bottom-most part of a doorway that one crosses to enter; a sill.
  2. (by extension) An entrance; the door of a house.
  3. The start of the landing area of a runway
  4. (engineering) The quantitative point at which an action is triggered, especially a lower limit.
  5. The wage or salary at which income tax becomes due
  6. The outset of an action or project
  7. The point where one mentally or physically is vulnerable in response to provocation or to particular things in general. As in emotions, stress, or pain.
  8. The point of beginning or entry
    From all the pressure my partner has been through lately, his emotional threshold has suddenly gotten pretty low these days. I can tell because he easily loses it when he is around people or hears about anything to do with his concerns.

Related terms[edit]


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