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 AutoZone Breaking Point Survey on consumer attitudes toward vehicle maintenance was based on a random sample of 886 adults who drove a vehicle on a regular basis.
And with the volume of patients increasing and reimbursement for uninsured patients shrinking, hospitals will soon be financially pushed beyond the breaking point, according to a report released Thursday by the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley.
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.
htm> called Breaking Point, sponsored by Spilt Milk, a parenting web site that recognizes that parenting is often emotionally chaotic and not always pleasant.
In ``The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point,'' Haynes Johnson and David S.
During the pilot test, the participants defined their testing requirements and iSharp reported the number of users the site could handle and still maintain adequate response time, the breaking points of their system, the necessary performance improvements, and the realistic levels of operation they could expect with their configuration.