breaking point


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breaking point

1. Literally, the point at which an object or machine ceases to function or falls apart. Don't put anything else on that chair—it's wobbling and looks to be close to the breaking point. Based on that terrible noise, it sounds like your car is at the breaking point.
2. By extension, the point at which an overworked or overburdened person, system, organization, etc., fails, give ups, or collapses. I was already fed up with my husband's lazy, selfish ways, but his refusal to come with me to my mother's funeral was the breaking point. With governmental resources already strained to the breaking point, any sort of environmental disaster would likely be catastrophic.
See also: breaking, point

breaking point

 
1. Lit. the point at which something will break. The mule's back was strained to the breaking point with masses of bundles and straw.
2. Fig. the point at which nerves or one's mental state can endure no more. My nerves are at the breaking point.
See also: breaking, point
References in periodicals archive ?
The Breaking Point discussion list was established with these parents in mind and all parents who have children who push them to their limits.
3 Breaking Point 10 Gig 4-port Blade Network Processor Kit and necessary XFP t;
The system is stretched to breaking point, with the overcrowding crisis making regular headlines in our news bulletins, and a shocking increase in prison suicide levels," he said.
Low Newton women's prison, also County Durham, has a capacity of 285 and a breaking point of 317.
Fueled by an increase in email and Internet usage and data-intensive applications, traditional server-based storage solutions are being pushed to the breaking point.
According to results of the AutoZone Breaking Point Survey reported today, the majority of Americans are prepared to absorb surprisingly heavy costs to keep their vehicles on the road another year rather than replace them.
Many Valley hospitals are being pushed to the breaking point as patient volume increases and costs rise.
BUSINESSES won't invest in Britain because our road and rail links are at breaking point, a report will claim today.