American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Having two cutting edges: a double-edged blade.
- adj. Effective or capable of being interpreted in two ways: double-edged praise.
- adj. Having a dual purpose: combat troops with a double-edged mission.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Having two edges.
- Figuratively, cutting or working both ways: applied to an argument which makes both for and against the person omploying it, or to any statement having a double meaning.
- adj. not comparable Describing a blade, such as a sword or knife, that is sharp on both edges.
- adj. comparable, figuratively Describing something that is as dangerous for the user as the one it is used on.
- adj. capable of being interpreted in two usually contradictory ways
“He referred to the double-edged sword of Hezbollah’s dogma and pragma.”
“#BaltimoreColtsPackers 14 Giants 17, 5:20 2nd quarter Blackburn proves a double-edged sword for the Giants - recording that huge interception on the Packers' last series, but now colliding with his team-mate Kenny Phillips and leaving the latter requiring treatment on the field.”
“In the two settings that I have studied, the ‘younger the better’ hypothesis can be a double-edged sword.”
“The stories are briskly paced and plot-driven, which turns out to be a double-edged sword.”
“The articles by Gavin Walker, Tom Looser, and Mark Anderson are double-edged swords.”
“Now that the $54-million pavilion is ready for a clutch of celebratory galas this weekend and an official public opening Oct. 2 and 3, it's evident that Govan's decision to arrange for the building to be viewed -- and written about -- at that preliminary stage was, if not a risk, then at least strategically something of a double-edged sword.”
“There is a double-edged sword in the conundrum offered by those two questions.”
“That freedom, of course, can be a double-edged sword, if those moves mean they lose the benefits of broad exposure.”
“Boston University's Professor of Religion Stephen Prothero wrote in Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know that ignorance is perilous because religion carries the double-edged sword of being a force for evil while also having the capacity for enormous good.”
“The former speaker is a double-edged sword for Mr. Santorum.”
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