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Threshold

A threshold is the strip of wood or metal at the bottom of a doorway. Figuratively, a threshold can also be an important limit or boundary, beyond which a significantly different phase or state of being begins.
In English culture, it is bad luck for a bride to walk into the house on her wedding day. The groom must lift her up and carry her across the threshold, so her feet do not touch the doorway.
The new welfare law has a lot of problems, but it is good for low¬income people. As long as your income is below the threshold, you can receive many free services. If you reach the income threshold, you may still qualify for assistance.
We often say people who can tolerate a lot of pain have a high threshold for pain, meaning he can tolerate a lot of pain until he reaches the limit after which he cannot.
Tom has a pretty high threshold for pain, so he only rarely takes painkillers and often doesn't go to the doctor's office when he's ill.

My threshold for pain is very low, so I asked for full anesthesia when I had my operation. I didn't want to feel anything.

Barrier

A barrier is an object that prevents movement or access to something else. Figuratively, a barrier is any obstacle to progress in life or socializing between people.
The protesters found much of the square had been blocked off by police barriers. They could not enter the whole left side of the square because of the long line of metal barriers.
Minorities may encounter many more barriers to advancement in their careers than members of the privileged majority. In interviews, managers tend to favour people whose culture resembles their own over those whose culture is different.
When two people have trouble communicating because they do not speak the same language, we say they have a language barrier.
Sarah enjoyed her year in Korea very much, but she had trouble making friends because of the language barrier. She always felt like she couldn't really talk to people in her town because she didn't know Korean.
Due to the significant language barrier, Renisha and Juan had to use pictures and gestures to communicate. Without these things, they didn't really understand each others' words.

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