Threshold

Properly the door-sill, but figuratively applied to the beginning of anything; as, the threshold of life (infancy), the threshold of an argument (the commencement), the threshold of the inquiry (the first part of the investigation). (Saxon, thoerscwald, door-wood; German, thürschwelle; Icelandic, throsulldur. From thür comes our door.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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