In this context I am referring to the point at which the amount of rainwater building up on a leaf compromises its integrity and causes it to collapse and spill said water.

  • "Load limit" is one common term for a structure or machine. Not sure about a leaf.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 3, 2015 at 3:09
  • 1
    What kind of leaf are you talking about? A plant leaf? Which plant? I ask because plant leaves collapse and spill rainwater without their overall integrity being compromised, in most cases.
    – JEL
    Oct 3, 2015 at 5:15
  • 1
    @JEL There are some plants whose leaves have evolved to contain some water for rainy days.
    – user140086
    Oct 3, 2015 at 6:19

4 Answers 4


First thought was that the water has accumulated to the point of critical load.

Critical defined as:

  1. Relating to or denoting a point of transition from one state to another.
  • 1
    You're welcome! (p.s. if you're going to stick around here on EL&U, the usual suggestion that you 'accept' the answer :) Oct 3, 2015 at 5:50

Proof load is used in construction and engineering as a term for maximum load.

the greatest load that can be applied to a piece, as a beam, column, etc., without straining the piece beyond the elastic limit.

Maximum load sounds equally good.

  • Mechatronics engineer here, never heard it round these parts... But then only a third of my degree was mechanical. Good to know! Oct 3, 2015 at 12:49

That is the very literal example of the idiom The straw that broke the camel's back.



The maximum amount that something can contain.

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