reach (a) boiling point

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reach (a) boiling point

1. To reach a limit in patience, temper, or equanimity, after which one loses control of one's emotions. Likened to the temperature at which a given liquid boils. I reached a boiling point with the kids last night. All their fighting and shouting drove me crazy!
2. To reach the point at which a situation becomes critical, calamitous, or uncontrollable. Tensions in the region have reached boiling point—full-scale war seems inevitable now.
See also: boiling, point, reach

reach boiling point

COMMON
1. If an emotion, especially anger, reaches boiling point, it becomes so strong that it cannot be controlled. Her frustration and anger had reached boiling point. Note: You can also say that an emotion is close to boiling point. Tempers were already close to boiling point as the dispute continued for the ninth day.
2. If a situation reaches boiling point, it becomes very dangerous or extreme and cannot be controlled. The situation reached boiling point after an argument between two teenagers, one white, one Asian, outside a fish and chip shop.
See also: boiling, point, reach