Meaning of “edge” in the English Dictionary

"edge" in English

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uk /edʒ/ us /edʒ/

edge noun (OUTER POINT)

B1 [ C ] the outer or furthest point of something:

He put pink icing around the edge of the cake.
They built the church on the edge of the village.
A man was standing at the water's edge with a small boy.
I caught (= hit) my leg on the edge of the table as I walked past.

More examples

edge noun (ALMOST)

[ C usually singular ] the point just before something very different and noticeable happens:

The company is on the edge of collapse.
The government had brought the country to the edge of a catastrophe.
push/drive sb over the edge informal

If an unpleasant event pushes someone over the edge, it makes them start to behave in a crazy way:

She had been driven over the edge by the separation from her husband.


[ U ] a small but noticeable amount of anger in someone's voice:

There's a definite edge to/in her voice when she talks to her husband.
on edge

C2 nervous and not relaxed:

Is something wrong? You seem a bit on edge this morning.

edgeverb [ I or T, + adv/prep ]

uk /edʒ/ us /edʒ/

to move slowly with gradual movements or in gradual stages, or to make someone or something move in this way:

A long line of traffic edged its way forward.
Inflation has edged up to five percent over the last two years.
Those who disagreed with the CEO's viewpoint were gradually edged out of (= forced to leave) the company.

(Definition of “edge” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"edge" in American English

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us /edʒ/

edge noun (OUTER POINT)

[ C ] the outer or farthest point of something:

the edge of a cliff/table
They walked down to the water’s edge.
fig. Hitchcock’s films often kept moviegoers at the edge of their seats (= kept them eagerly interested).

edge noun (LIMIT)

[ C usually sing ] a point beyond which something unpleasant or very noticeable is likely to happen:

It was reported that the company is on the edge of collapse.
The loss of his job almost pushed him over the edge.

edge noun (BLADE)

[ C ] the side of a blade that cuts, or any sharp part of an object:

Careful with that open can – it’s got a very sharp edge.

edge noun (ADVANTAGE)

[ U ] an advantage:

Because of her experience she has the edge over the other applicants.


on edge

If you are on edge, you are nervous and not relaxed:

Carly seemed on edge while her family was away.

edge verb [ always + adv/prep ] (MOVE)

to move slowly with gradual movements or in gradual stages:

[ T ] A long line of traffic edged its way forward.
[ I ] Inflation has begun to edge up during the last six months.

(Definition of “edge” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"EDGE" in Business English

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EDGEnoun [ S ]


a technical system that allows people to access large amounts of data on the internet at high speeds without using wires


uk /edʒ/ us
get/gain/have an edge (over/on sb/sth)

to get or have an advantage in a particular situation:

Internet banks may have the edge over their old-technology rivals when it comes to charges and rates, but they are not immune from complaints.
give sb an edge (over/on sb/sth)

to give someone an advantage in a particular situation:

A consortium of private-equity investors gave the group the edge in the competition to acquire MGM.
lose your edge

to no longer have an advantage that you used to have:

Over the years, Germany to some extent lost its edge as a manufacturing base because of cheaper wages in Eastern Europe.
be on the edge of sth

to nearly be in a particular situation, or to be close to achieving something:

Scientists hope we are on the edge of a new and greener economy.
push sb/sth over the edge

to put someone or something into a difficult or dangerous situation:

As the number of house repossessions and bankruptcies increases, those already struggling with debt could be pushed over the edge.

edgeverb [ I or T ]

uk /edʒ/ us
edge (sth) down/lower

to get less or lower by a small amount, or to make something do this:

Sales edged down from $1.775 billion to $1.772 billion in the fourth quarter.
edge (sth) up/higher

to increase by a small amount, or to make something do this:

There is still some nervousness that US authorities might try to edge up interest rates to support the dollar after its recent falls.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “EDGE” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)