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Alternative forms[edit]


knife-edge (plural knife-edges)

  1. A piece of steel sharpened to an acute edge or angle, and resting on a smooth surface, serving as the axis of motion of a pendulum, scale beam, or other piece required to oscillate with the least possible friction.
  2. (figuratively) A precarious balance that could be upset by a very small force in either direction.
    The game was on a knife-edge.
    • 2022 January 12, “Boris Johnson’s future on a knife edge after No 10 party apology”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Boris Johnson’s future on a knife edge after No 10 party apology [title]
  3. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: the edge of a knife.

Derived terms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for knife-edge in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)