Definition of edge in English:

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Pronunciation: /ej/


1The outside limit of an object, area, or surface; a place or part farthest away from the center of something: a willow tree at the water’s edge figurative these measures are merely tinkering at the edges of a wider issue
More example sentences
  • I found a tree toward the edges of the outside area, and sat cross-legged, before unzipping my guitar bag.
  • The trim was stitched close to the inside edge then the outside edge.
  • The road direct from Middleton is steep and narrow, with the road surface breaking away at the edges due to water erosion in places.
border, boundary, extremity, fringe, margin, side;
lip, rim, brim, brink, verge;
perimeter, circumference, periphery, limits, bounds
1.1An area next to a steep drop: the cliff edge
More example sentences
  • On the third morning of his trek across the mountains, he found himself on the edge of a steep cliff, with a drop of several hundred feet before him.
  • She took one last look over her shoulder at the building before dropping off the edge off the cliff into the water below.
  • Standing on the edge of cliffs that drop suddenly, it's easy to imagine that this is the world's brink.
1.2 [in singular] The point or state immediately before something unpleasant or momentous occurs: the economy was teetering on the edge of recession
More example sentences
  • The speed and tension of city life has him at the edge of psychosis: something has to give, there has to be a safety valve.
  • It's partly the strained atmosphere in Japan at this moment, with the whole nation poised on the edge of a financial crash.
  • We never learn from our mistakes and we are all, at any moment, standing at the edge of chaos.
2The sharpened side of the blade of a cutting implement or weapon: a knife with a razor-sharp edge
More example sentences
  • The knife has been described as having a six or seven-inch blade with a jagged edge down one side only.
  • That means they can be used on the edges of razor blades for a smoother cut.
  • Circular blades formed blade breakers on either side of the flare, their outer edges sharpened.
2.1The line along which two surfaces of a solid meet.
Example sentences
  • The epidermis then spreads around the embryo until its edges finally meet along the ventral midline.
  • Also, the border plates that make up the periphery of the shells have jagged outer edges.
  • Another of the carpenters sat smoothing the ragged edges with a patch piece sitting near by.
2.2 [in singular] An intense, sharp, or striking quality: a flamenco singer brings a primitive edge to the music she was still smiling, but there was an edge to her voice
More example sentences
  • Comedy or satire has to be slightly nasty, have a sharp edge to it.
  • For all his charm, his generosity, that deep, rasping cackle that rumbles through his conversation, he has a sharp edge.
  • The Frenchman, still wearing the No 7 from his Manchester United heyday, has charisma but also an edge of menace.
sharpness, severity, bite, sting, asperity, acerbity, acidity, trenchancy;
sarcasm, acrimony, malice, spite, venom
2.3 [in singular] A quality or factor that gives superiority over close rivals or competitors: the veal had the edge on flavor
More example sentences
  • He is expected to have the edge over his three rivals.
  • Concrete reasoning gives you the edge over your peers and rivals.
  • We are constantly looking for improvements that will give us the edge over our competition.
advantage, lead, head start, the whip hand, the upper hand;
superiority, dominance, ascendancy, supremacy, primacy
informal inside track


1 [with object] Provide with a border or edge: the pool is edged with paving
More example sentences
  • A smooth border edges the mainspring housing and front of the grip strap to reduce drag and snag when carried concealed under.
  • Raffael offers a partial view of a pool edged by rocks with brush hanging over the water.
  • In addition, the borders surrounding the central lawn are edged with one-foot squares of flagstone.
border, fringe, verge, skirt;
surround, enclose, encircle, circle, encompass, bound, outline
trim, pipe, band, decorate, finish;
border, fringe;
bind, hem
2Move gradually, carefully, or furtively in a particular direction: [no object]: she tried to edge away from him Nick edged his way through the crowd [with object]: Hazel quietly edged him away from the others
More example sentences
  • Traffic was blocked for a few minutes, until a woman in an SUV edged her way through and shouted her displeasure.
  • The vast open landscape and the sheer enormity of the view triggered panic as I edged my way down, but at the same time took my breath away.
  • A great cloud of fishy, chippy steam rushed out to welcome me and I edged my way in to find the place packed with people waiting for hot, fresh food.
creep, inch, work one's way, pick one's way, ease oneself;
sidle, steal, slink
2.1 [with object] US informal Defeat by a small margin: Connecticut avoided an upset and edged Yale 49-48
More example sentences
  • Honourable mentions should also go to the French full-back Serge Blanco and American athlete Michael Johnson, who were edged out by Rives and Moses.
  • For the second time this season at Spotland stadium Oldham were edged out by one point against fierce local rivals Rochdale Hornets.
  • Then they were edged out 3-2 by visitors Baildon Trinity.
3 [with object] Give an intense or sharp quality to: the bitterness that edged her voice
More example sentences
  • ‘The next shot won't miss,’ she assured him, malice edging her voice.
  • ‘You are slightly late for once,’ he said, sarcasm edging his voice.
  • ‘I think… I think that they are going to execute Darrius,’ she responded, worry edging her voice.
4 [no object] Ski with one’s weight on the edges of one’s skis.
Example sentences
  • Although it seems like skating uphill requires more edging, more pushing back and lots of grunting, focus on forward motion of your core and maximizing glide.



on edge

Tense, nervous, or irritable: never had she felt so on edge before an interview
More example sentences
  • The Democrats are daring to hope and the Republicans are testy and on edge.
  • She couldn't help but notice that he looked a little on edge, as if he was nervous or something.
  • We were all on edge with the sort of nervous energy needed to focus the mind.

on the edge of one's seat

informal Very excited and giving one’s full attention to something.
Example sentences
  • The new heist is more elaborate than the first one and has enough excitement to leave you on the edge of your seat.
  • If this scene were in a book, would I be laughing or on the edge of my seat with excitement and terror?
  • This action packed film has style, humour and is full of stunts which will keep you on the edge of your seat.

set someone's teeth on edge

(Especially of an unpleasantly harsh sound) cause someone to feel intense discomfort or irritation: a grating that set her teeth on edge
More example sentences
  • I hate beginning Monday mornings with the kind of irritation that sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to shout at the person concerned.
  • Unless, of course, the sound of kids enjoying themselves sets your teeth on edge.
  • Every sound that filtered through the snow-laden branches set his teeth on edge.

take the edge off

Reduce the intensity or effect of (something unpleasant or severe): the tablets will take the edge off the pain
More example sentences
  • I would always have two pints after a round to take the edge off and relax.
  • Taking 500 mg of milk thistle before embarking on a long night of drinking often takes the edge off the after effects.
  • Staying in high gear whenever possible, accelerating slowly and reducing weight can help take the edge off the fuel bill.

Phrasal verbs

edge someone out

Remove a person from an organization or role by indirect means: she was edged out of the organization by the director
More example sentences
  • The state party chairman announcing today she won the February five caucuses there, edging out Barack Obama by some 2,000 ballots.
  • Ashley was the most popular name for girls, edging out Emily.
  • Court Masterpiece, a nine-length winner at the course earlier in the season, just edged out Jack Sullivan in a tight finish.



Pronunciation: /ˈejləs/
Example sentences
  • Richard's various "swords," of both force and fraud, are hardly edgeless early in the play.
  • Edgeless sides allow you to slide cookies off pan onto cooling rack easily.


Pronunciation: /ˈejər/
Example sentences
  • Weed trimmers, lawn edgers and those things I hate the most - leaf blowers - have become staples in many Canadian garages.
  • Whenever I visited, he showed off his project for the week, such as an old lawn edger rescued from the neighbor's trash.
  • Smaller cultivars can be used as edgers and foreground plants, while the larger daylily cultivars can be used in background plantings, as accents, or in front of tall hardscape elements such as fences and decks.


Old English ecg 'sharpened side of a blade', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch egge and German Ecke, also to Old Norse eggja (see egg2), from an Indo-European root shared by Latin acies 'edge' and Greek akis 'point'.

Words that rhyme with edge

allege, dredge, fledge, hedge, kedge, ledge, pledge, reg, sedge, sledge, veg, wedge straight

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: edge

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