Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The upper edge of a steep or vertical slope: the brink of a cliff.
  • n. The margin of land bordering a body of water.
  • n. The point at which something is likely to begin; the verge: "Time and again the monarchs and statesmen of Europe approached the brink of conflict” ( W. Bruce Lincoln). See Synonyms at border.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The edge, margin, or border of a steep place, as of a precipice; a bank or edge, as of a river or pit; a verge; a border; as, the brink of a chasm. Also used figuratively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The edge, margin, or border of a steep place, as of a precipice; a bank or edge, as of a river or pit; a verge; a border. Also Fig.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The edge, margin, or border of a steep place, as of a precipice or the bank of a river; verge; hence, close proximity: as, “the precipice's brink,”
  • n. to be on the brink of ruin.
  • n. Synonyms See rim.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the edge of a steep place
  • n. a region marking a boundary
  • n. the limit beyond which something happens or changes

Etymologies

Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English brinke, from Proto-Germanic *brenkaz (compare Dutch brink ‘grassland’, German dialect Brunkel, Icelandic brekka ‘slope’), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰren- ‘project’ (compare Tocharian B prenke ‘island’, Irish braine ‘prow’). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.