What does a ‘turning point’ mean?


What does a ‘turning point’ mean?

The noun ‘turning point’ is used to refer to a decisive moment or a significant event that changes what takes place from that point on. This event is significant because, until that point, change or movement didn’t seem possible, necessary or achievable.


Most people have experienced this ‘turning point’ in their lives, it could be personally or in their career. For example, if you think of teenagers in high school, the majority of them don’t know what they want to do when they grow up but usually in college or in their first job, they experience this turning point.

It could be when an arts student randomly turns up to a linguistics class in university and decides he or she wants to become a speech therapist. Or a ticket seller at a theatre, watching plays and talking to the actors after the show, finally getting admitted to his dream acting school.


These turning points don’t just occur to people, they can also occur to movements, companies, political parties, countries, schools, and so on. The feminist movement in the US, for example, experienced a turning point in 1920 when women won the legal right to vote.

For many young companies, finding investors that will fund the company can be the turning point for the company, with the investors support they can move forward with their plans. The turning point in a politicians career may be when he/she is asked to speak on behalf of his/her party or is given a seat in parliament, for example.


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