Is there an English word to describe the points in time when decisions have been made (especially those with far-reaching consequences)? A bit like tipping point. But choice point or decision point sound weird to me...


2 Answers 2


"A critical point" and a turning point can be used. Critical has the following meaning in Merriam-Webster:

of, relating to, or being a turning point or specially important juncture : as (1): relating to or being the stage of a disease at which an abrupt change for better or worse may be expected; also: being or relating to an illness or condition involving danger of death (2): relating to or being a state in which or a measurement or point at which some quality, property, or phenomenon suffers a definite change

  • Same as "tipping point" as OP states. It doesn't specifically mean that a decision was made. It only defines "something important", like all other terms. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:24


If you're talking about a day, then the secondary meaning of D-Day would fit the bill:

The day on which an important operation is to begin or a change to take effect

This is a secondary idiomatic meaning, and you should be aware of the first literal meaning before using the word, which is available here:


  • Nah. The decision to start an operation on a certain day (which the military call "D-day") or hour (which would be the "H-hour") is usually made on a different day. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:06
  • D-Day as an idiom is merely the critical day on which something happens. If you had to make an important decision on 25 December, then 25 December would be D-Day for that decision. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:16
  • The point (which you may be missing) in time when that certain day is set and gets the designation of "the D-day", always precedes that day. If you plan to make a certain decision on Nth of Nber, then the Nth of Nber becomes "the D-day", but what do you call that day on which you decided that the Nth of Nber shall be your D-day? Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:19
  • You can always trace your important events to a single moment in time, when the decision is spontaneous, unplanned. What do you call that moment? Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:21
  • The question is in the past tense. The decision has already been made. And the day on which that decision was made was D-Day for that decision. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 14:21

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