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Definition of 'Rubicon'

A point of no return or a boundary that, once crossed, cannot be undone.
"Crossing the Rubicon and starting a new business can be daunting but rewarding."

Detailed Meaning of 'Rubicon'

The term comes from the ancient Roman era when the Rubicon River in northeastern Italy served as a boundary between the Roman Republic and its territories. The Roman general Julius Caesar famously crossed the Rubicon with his army in 49 BCE, despite the Senate's order not to, thereby beginning a civil war that ultimately led to his rise as dictator of Rome. Since then, the term "crossing the Rubicon" has been used metaphorically to describe a decision or action that represents a significant and irreversible change in direction. In modern times, the phrase is often used in political contexts to describe a moment when a leader takes a bold action that could have far-reaching consequences. Overall, the noun "Rubicon" represents a point of no return, a boundary that, once crossed, has profound implications.


Examples of 'Rubicon' in a Sentence

1. The Rubicon between friends and lovers can be difficult to navigate.
2. The politician knew that voting against the party line was a Rubicon that could end his career.
3. Once we pass this Rubicon, there's no turning back.
4. The decision to go to war was the Rubicon that divided the nation.
5. The Rubicon for the athlete was breaking the world record.
6. For many people, getting married is a Rubicon in their lives.

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Origins & Etymology of 'Rubicon'

The noun 'Rubicon' has its etymological origins in ancient Rome. It refers to the Rubicon River, which was a small waterway in northeastern Italy. The historical significance of the Rubicon River lies in an event involving Julius Caesar, a Roman general, in 49 BCE. According to historical accounts, Caesar, with his army, crossed the Rubicon River, which marked the boundary of Italy, as he marched toward Rome. This act defied Roman law, which prohibited generals from leading armed forces into Roman territory. Crossing the Rubicon was considered an act of rebellion and an irrevocable decision. Hence, the phrase 'crossing the Rubicon' came to symbolize a point of no return or a boundary that, once crossed, cannot be undone. The etymology of 'Rubicon' is closely tied to this historical event and underscores the concept of making an irreversible choice or taking a decisive step with significant consequences.


How to pronounce rubicon (audio)


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