knife-edge
noun Date: 1818 1. a sharp wedge of steel or other hard material used as a fulcrum for a lever beam in a precision instrument 2. a sharp narrow knifelike edge

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • knife-edge — n [singular] 1.) a situation in which the result is extremely uncertain on a knife edge ▪ His future in the job is balanced on a knife edge . ▪ a knife edge vote 2.) a situation which makes someone very anxious on a knife edge ▪ Living with him,… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • knife-edge — [nīf′ej΄] n. 1. the edge of a knife 2. any very sharp edge 3. a metal wedge whose fine edge serves as the fulcrum for a scale beam, pendulum, etc. * * * knife edge (nīfʹĕj ) n. 1. A sharp cutting edge. 2. A sharp, narrow edge or border: “saying… …   Universalium

  • Knife-edge — n. (Mech.) 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. [1913 Webster] {Kni …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • knife edge — knife′ edge n. 1) the cutting edge of a knife 2) anything with a sharp edge 3) hor a wedge on the fine edge of which a scale beam, pendulum, or the like, balances or oscillates • Etymology: 1810–20 knife′ edged , adj …   From formal English to slang

  • knife-edge — knife ,edge noun singular 1. ) a situation in which success and failure are equally likely: The battle for control of the party was on a knife edge last night. a ) a situation in which a slight change could have a very dangerous effect: a man on… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • knife-edge — [nīf′ej΄] n. 1. the edge of a knife 2. any very sharp edge 3. a metal wedge whose fine edge serves as the fulcrum for a scale beam, pendulum, etc …   English World dictionary

  • knife-edge — ► NOUN 1) the cutting edge of a knife. 2) a very tense or dangerous situation. 3) (before another noun ) (of creases or pleats) very fine. 4) a steel wedge on which a pendulum or other device oscillates or is balanced. 5) a narrow, sharp mountain …   English terms dictionary

  • knife edge — noun the sharp cutting side of the blade of a knife • Syn: ↑cutting edge • Hypernyms: ↑edge • Part Holonyms: ↑blade, ↑edge tool * * * 1. the cutting edge of a knife. 2 …   Useful english dictionary

  • knife-edge — also knife edge 1) PHRASE: oft v link PHR To be on a knife edge means to be in a situation in which nobody knows what is going to happen next, or in which one thing is just as likely to happen as another. [mainly BRIT] His future remains on a… …   English dictionary

  • knife-edge — noun 1 be on a knife edge a) to be in a situation in which the result is extremely uncertain: Success or failure is balanced on a knife edge. b) very anxious about the future result of something: She is on a knife edge about her promotion. 2… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • knife edge — /ˈnaɪf ɛdʒ/ (say nuyf ej) noun 1. the edge of a knife. 2. anything very sharp. 3. a wedge, on the fine edge of which a scale beam, pendulum, or the like, oscillates. –phrase 4. on a knife edge, in a position of dubious safety, security or… …   Australian English dictionary

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