Definition of knife edge in English:

knife edge

Syllabification: knife edge


  • 1The edge of a knife.
  • 1.1 [as modifier] (Of creases or pleats in a garment) very fine: knife-edge creases
    More example sentences
    • Gypsy dirndls, knife-edge pleats and rich colour mixes don't often work for me, but in his hands the results were masterly, with the Romany effect tempered by stringently tailored ruffled jackets.
  • 1.2 [in singular] A tense or uncertain situation, especially one finely balanced between success and failure: they have been living on a knife edge since his libel action
    More example sentences
    • ‘The timing could not be more critical, the trade talks are on a knife-edge and we need to see leadership from the EU,’ she added.
    • The economy is still on a knife-edge and there is growing popular discontent with falling living standards and the lack of basic democratic rights.
    • The livelihoods of 6,000 people are on a knife-edge, as they wait to be told if Rover can continue as a going concern.
  • 1.3A steel wedge on which a pendulum or other device oscillates or is balanced.
  • 1.4A narrow, sharp ridge; an arête.
    More example sentences
    • We dropped our packs and did a fast recon up to the base of Koh-i-Bardar to find our line: a steep couloir to a knife-edge ridge to the summit.
    • After another couple of hours, we made our way gradually along a knife-edge ridge, careful to stay off the cornice which hung over a spectacular 1,000 metre drop to our right.
    • When I caught up with Bryan, he was gingerly backstepping along a knife-edge arête.

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a slit made by cutting with a saw