Definition of knife-edge in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnʌɪfɛdʒ/


1The edge of a knife.
1.1 [as modifier] (Of creases or pleats in a garment) very narrow or sharp.
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.
2 [in singular] A very tense or dangerous situation: worried investors could be living on a knife-edge for the next twelve months
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.
3A sharp mountain ridge; an arête.
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.
4A steel wedge on which a pendulum or other device oscillates or is balanced.
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