The word "minimum" describes a numerical value that must be reached or exceeded. Is there also a similar word (noun) that describes a value that must be strictly exceeded (so that to be equal is not sufficient)?

Edit: Here is an example

All groups with (strictly) more than 50 percent children get a discount. Thus, the ??? percentage of children to get a discount is 50 percent."

I am looking for a word to fill in for the "???". "minimum" does not work, because the value must be strictly exceeded.

  • 1
    Wouldn't you simply declare the next available higher number as the "minimum"? For example, if you must exceed a value of 99, you just state the "minimum" as 100. Jul 22 at 14:47
  • @KillingTime But that wouldn't work if you didn't know the number. For example: "Alice's score is the new _____ for would-be record-breakers." You do, however, highlight the fact that OP should provide an example of how the word would be used. Jul 22 at 15:48
  • 1
    That minimum is the value that must be exceeded. There, I used the passive; I hate myself. Jul 22 at 16:09
  • 2
    @YosefBaskin Why do you hate yourself for using the passive? There are cases, like this, where it's the best structure to use. Just because it has had a tendency to be over-used doesn't mean that it should be eliminated.
    – BoldBen
    Jul 23 at 5:39
  • If you want the technical mathematical term, like asymptotic lower bound or something (I don't think that's correct), you could post on that forum. Otherwise we would need context for how you'd use it in a conversation and why @KillingTime's suggestion of simply referring to the minimum number somehow would not suffice.
    – cruthers
    Jul 24 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


You can try threshold
Defined by lexico.com as:

  1. The magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested.
  • Lexoco has a misleading definition and you need to justify this answer better. More generally a threshold is (e.g. Cambridge) "the level or point at which you start to experience something, or at which something starts to happen". As such, a threshold may crossed from above or from below. The threshold (from above) for the freezing of water is zero degrees C. The threshold (from below) for the boiling of water is 100 degrees C. This is the reason for my (rare and regretful) downvote.
    – Anton
    Jul 22 at 21:47
  • 1
    @Anton This was the word that immediately came to my mind. The context normally makes it clear how the threshold applies.
    – Barmar
    Jul 25 at 20:39
  • Does 'threshold' work naturally in the OP's given sentence?
    – Mitch
    Jul 25 at 20:45

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