AskDefine | Define threshold

Dictionary Definition



1 the starting point for a new state or experience; "on the threshold of manhood"
2 the smallest detectable sensation [syn: limen]
3 the entrance (the space in a wall) through which you enter or leave a room or building; the space that a door can close; "he stuck his head in the doorway" [syn: doorway, door, room access]
4 the sill of a door; a horizontal piece of wood or stone that forms the bottom of a doorway and offer support when passing through a doorway [syn: doorsill, doorstep]
5 a region marking a boundary [syn: brink, verge]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English þrescold This comes from the practice of placing a board to prevent the thresh or straw from leaving the house. Thresh was placed on stone floors to aid in traction.



  1. The bottom-most part of a doorway that one crosses to enter; a sill.
  2. In the context of "by extension": An entrance
  3. The start of the landing area of a runway
  4. 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

Related terms


bottom-most part of a doorway
  • Czech: práh
  • Dutch: drempel
  • Finnish: kynnys
  • German: Schwelle
  • Norwegian: terskel
  • Russian: порог
  • Finnish: kynnys
start of the landing area
  • Finnish: kynnys
point at which an action is triggered
  • Finnish: kynnysarvo
income at which income tax becomes due
  • Finnish: alaraja
outset of an action or project
  • Finnish: aloituspiste

Extensive Definition

Threshold may refer to:
In fiction:
In music:
In science:
In politics:
  • A electoral threshold is a portion of votes that must be attained before the candidate is truly considered; for example, a voting system with a threshold of 10% would mandate that all candidates need 10% or more to be counted on the ballot, with the left-over votes being distributed either equally or proportionately
In other fields:
threshold in German: Threshold
threshold in Spanish: Threshold
threshold in French: Threshold
threshold in Dutch: Drempel
threshold in Portuguese: Threshold

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

French door, archway, back door, barway, beginning, border line, bound, boundary, boundary condition, boundary line, bourn, break boundary, breakoff point, brink, bulkhead, carriage entrance, ceiling, cellar door, cellarway, circumscription, commencement, compass, confine, cutoff, cutoff point, dawn, deadline, delimitation, determinant, division line, door, doorjamb, doorpost, doorsill, doorstep, doorstone, doorway, edge, end, entrance, entrance hall, entranceway, entry, entryway, extremity, finish, floor, foyer, front door, frontier, galilee, gate, gatepost, gateway, groundsel, hatch, hatchway, hedge, high-water mark, interface, limen, limit, limitation, limiting factor, line, line of demarcation, lintel, lobby, low-water mark, lower limit, march, mark, mete, mudsill, narthex, outset, point, porch, portal, porte cochere, portico, postern, propylaeum, pylon, scuttle, side door, sill, start, starting line, starting point, stile, stoa, storm door, target date, term, terminal date, terminus, time allotment, tollgate, trap, trap door, turnpike, turnstile, upper limit, verge, vestibule, window sill
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