breaking point

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.

break·ing point

1. The point at which physical, mental, or emotional strength gives way under stress.
2. The point at which a condition or situation becomes critical.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Durham prison was built to house 591 inmates but has an absolute breaking point of 981.