What Does Reached the Breaking Point Mean?

Breaking Point Definition

Definition: The point at which something breaks down or gives way.

The breaking point of something is the point at which stress has increased so much that things begin to fall apart or break down. Before something has reached its breaking point, it has undergone many trials and tensions. Finally, pressure has built up so much that something must give way.

When something has reached its breaking point, it has become stressed to the point where it will never be the same again. It is as if something has broken.

Origin of Reached the Breaking Point

The origin of this phrase comes from the late nineteenth century. The phrase refers to breaking down from mental or physical stresses.

Examples of Reached the Breaking Point

breaking point synonymThis phrase can be used to describe people or things coming apart or breaking down.

It might refer to a person giving into a large amount of stress. Many times, this phrase is used to describe the moment a person cries or gives up.

For example,

  • After working seventy hours this week, she reached her breaking point, and she finally started to cry.

A person may also say,

  • I have reached my breaking point! I quit!

This shows that the person feels as if there is no more they can do and that they must end what they have been working on.

define breaking pointPeople may say that they have reached their breaking point with something, as in the phrase, “I have reached my breaking point with you, and I will not work with you again.”

Things can also reach breaking points. If a bridge has too much weight on it, it may reach its breaking point and fall apart. If a couch has reached its breaking point, people sitting on it may cause it to collapse as it reaches it breaking point.

More Examples

  • The brush with fame was enough to convince her she wanted no more of it. The breaking point was when a fan asked Sia for a photograph, just as a friend was telling her that she had cancer. –New York Post
  • Sunday’s humiliating 42-14 loss to theAtlanta Falcons appeared to push Gurley to a breaking point. –LA Times


Something that reaches its breaking point falls apart.