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: a point of beginning
: a minimum requirement for further action
: a determination (as of fact or the existence of a reasonable doubt) upon which something else (as further consideration or a right of action) hinges [the for inquiry]
adj : of, relating to, or being a threshold [the issue in a negligence action is whether the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff "Noakes v. City of Seattle, 895 P.2d 842 (1995)"] [a showing of the need for psychiatric evaluation]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.