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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
The sibling rivalry between Ellis and Billy reaches boiling point when a row over Victoria ends in Ellis driving towards his brother in a van, with no signs of slowing down or swerving...
THE feud between Chesney and Daniel reaches boiling point, as the latter winds up his love rival by claiming he has footage of their altercation in the alleyway - and is planning to play it during the stag do.
Their father Max (Jake Wood) is at the centre of the action as his long-running revenge plot finally reaches boiling point.
Their Downton characters - art expert Simon Bricker and Lady Cora - have grown close over the past few weeks, and their flirting reaches boiling point in the latest episode.
But perhaps the most glorious part of Test cricket is that it asks someone like Monty Panesar to go out and perform a role for which he has not been selected, and at which he is famously hapless, just as the pressure reaches boiling point.
and focuses on their bitter feud as it reaches boiling point. Expect plenty of tears and tantrums.
Now he can only hope Rangers are hit by a dose of the championship jitters as the title race reaches boiling point. Maloney said: "After a result like that it's valid to have your mental strength questioned.
And what''s the betting that this Government will try to sneak in legislation to bring back fox hunting, aka killing with dogs, once the media frenzy reaches boiling point? In my view, all it will do will be to draw attention to the vast differences between rich and poor in this country.
Judy Dench, left, is on fine form in this tense drama about a teacher whose obsession with a young colleague reaches boiling point when she discovers her new chum is having an affair with one of her students.
Owen played in a deeper role in the battle against Chelsea, but boss Shearer has admitted he could be pushed up in some of the remaining seven fixtures as the Magpies' season reaches boiling point.
Martin's temper reaches boiling point as his daughter crashes another car, and Julie proposes they seek advice.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright insists manager David Moyes will not walk away from Goodison Park as Wayne Rooney's future and the club's cash and player crisis reaches boiling point.
The tension reaches boiling point again this week as Jack thinks he may have found time to relax a little after temporarily averting a disaster ?
Turn off heat once the water reaches boiling point: 100 [degrees] C (212 [degrees] F).
But the 32-year-old has finally shaken off a niggling calf injury and is desperate to play a part as the flag race reaches boiling point.