American English

Definition of edge noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] the outside limit of an object, a surface, or an area; the part farthest from the center He stood on the edge of the cliff. a big house on/at the edge of town Don't put that glass so near the edge of the table. I sat down at the water's edge. Stand the coin on its edge. She tore the page out roughly, leaving a ragged edge in the book. see also leading edge, trailing edge
  2. 2[countable] the sharp part of a blade, knife, or sword that is used for cutting Be careful—it has a sharp edge.
  3. 3the edge [singular] the point at which something, especially something bad, may begin to happen synonym brink, verge They had brought the country to the edge of disaster.
  4. 4[singular] a slight advantage over someone or something The company needs to improve its competitive edge. edge on/over somebody/something They have the edge on us.
  5. 5[singular] a strong, often exciting, quality Her show now has a hard political edge to it.
  6. 6[singular] a sharp tone of voice, often showing anger He did his best to remain calm, but there was a distinct edge to his voice.
  7. 7-edged (in adjectives) having the type of edge or edges mentioned a lace-edged handkerchief see also gilt-edged
  8. Idioms to be nervous, excited, or bad-tempered Thesaurusnervousneurotic on edge jitteryThese words all describe people who are easily frightened or who are behaving in a frightened way.nervous easily worried or frightened; anxious about something or afraid of something:She has a nervous temperament. I felt really nervous about meeting him. See also the entry for worried.neurotic not able to behave in a reasonable, calm way, because you are always worried about something:He became neurotic about keeping the house clean.on edge nervous or bad-tempered, especially because you are worried about what might happen:She was always on edge before an interview.jittery (informal) anxious and nervous about what might happen:All this talk of job losses was making him jittery.Patterns a nervous/neurotic man/woman/lady/girl/boy to feel nervous/on edge/jittery a bit nervous/on edge/jittery
    be on the razor's edge, be on a razor edge
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    to be in a difficult situation where any mistake may be very dangerous Social workers operate on the razor's edge.
    fray around/at the edges
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    to start to come apart or to fail Support for the governor was fraying around the edges.
    on the edge of your seat
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    very excited and giving your full attention to something The game had the crowd on the edge of their seats. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened next.
    rough around the edges
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    having parts or qualities that are not yet as good as they should be She's a little rough around the edges, but she's a great neighbor.
    rough edges
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    small parts of something or of a person's character that are not yet as good as they should be The ballet still had some rough edges. He had a few rough edges knocked off at school.
    set somebody's teeth on edge
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    (of a sound or taste) to make someone feel physically uncomfortable Just the sound of her voice sets my teeth on edge.
    take the edge off something
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    to make something less strong, less bad, etc. The sandwich took the edge off my appetite. I took an aspirin to take the edge off the pain. A squeeze of lemon takes the edge off the sweetness.
    teeter on the brink/edge of something
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    to be very close to a very unpleasant or dangerous situation The country is teetering on the brink of civil war.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: edge