from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thin, sharpened side, as of the blade of a cutting instrument.
  • noun The degree of sharpness of a cutting blade.
  • noun A penetrating, incisive quality.
  • noun A slight but noticeable sharpness, harshness, or discomforting quality.
  • noun Keenness, as of desire or enjoyment; zest.
  • noun The line or area farthest away from the middle: synonym: border.
  • noun The line of intersection of two surfaces.
  • noun A rim or brink.
  • noun The point at which something is likely to begin.
  • noun A margin of superiority; an advantage.
  • intransitive verb To give an edge to (a blade); sharpen.
  • intransitive verb To tilt (a ski or both skis) in such a way that an edge or both edges bite into the snow.
  • intransitive verb To put a border or edge on.
  • intransitive verb To act as or be an edge of.
  • intransitive verb To advance or push slightly or gradually.
  • intransitive verb To trim or shape the edge of.
  • intransitive verb To surpass or beat by a small margin. Often used with out:
  • intransitive verb To move gradually or hesitantly.
  • idiom (on edge) Highly tense or nervous; irritable.
  • idiom (on the edge) In a precarious position.
  • idiom (on the edge) In a state of keen excitement, as from danger or risk.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In poker, same as (and a substitution for) age, 13.
  • To sharpen; put an edge upon; impart a cutting quality to.
  • Hence, figuratively, to sharpen; pique.
  • To furnish with an edge, fringe, or border: as, to edge a flower-bed with box.
  • To move by or as if by dragging or hitching along edgewise; impel or push on edge, and hence slowly or with difficulty: as, to edge a barrel or a box across the sidewalk; to edge one's self or one's way through a crowd.
  • To incite; instigate; urge on; egg. See egg.
  • To move sidewise; move gradually, cautiously, or so as not to attract notice: as, edge along this way.
  • noun The sharp margin or thin bordering or terminal line of a cutting instrument: as, the edge of a razor, knife, sword, ax, or chisel.
  • noun The extreme border or margin of anything; the verge; the brink: as, the edge of a table; the edge of precipice.
  • noun Specifically— In mathematics, a line, straight or curved, along which a surface is broken, so that every section of the surface through that line has a cusp or an abrupt change of direction at the point of intersection with it.
  • noun In zoology, the extreme boundary of a surface, part, or mark, generally distinguished as posterior, anterior, lateral, superior, etc. In entomology it is often distinguished from the margin, which is properly an imaginary space surrounding the disk of any surface, and limited by the edge. The outer edge of the elytron of a beetle may be either the extreme boundary of the elytron, or the lateral boundary of the upper surface, separated from the true boundary by a deflexed margin called the epipleura.
  • noun The border or part adjacent to a line of division; the part nearest some limit; an initial or terminal limit; rim; skirt: as, the edge of the evening; the outer and inner edges of a field; the horizon's edge.
  • noun The side of a hill; a ridge. Halliwell.
  • noun Sharpness; acrimony; cutting or wounding quality.
  • noun Acuteness or sharpness, as of desire or of appetite; keenness; eagerness; fitness for action or operation.
  • noun To make eager or intense; sharpen; stimulat: as, his curiosity or expectation was set on edge.
  • noun Synonyms and Verge, skirt, brim. See rim. Intensity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To move sideways; to move gradually.
  • intransitive verb To sail close to the wind.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to increase the distance gradually from the shore, vessel, or other object.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) to approach by slow degrees, as when a sailing vessel approaches an object in an oblique direction from the windward.
  • intransitive verb to get in edgewise; to get in by degrees.
  • intransitive verb as with a coast or vessel (Naut.), to advance gradually, but not directly, toward it.
  • noun (figuratively), (figuratively) The thin cutting side of the blade of an instrument.


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

[Middle English egge, from Old English ecg; see ak- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English egge, from Old English ecg, from Proto-Germanic *agjō (compare Dutch egge, German Ecke, Swedish egg), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- (“sharp”) (compare Welsh hogi ("to sharpen, hone"), Latin aciēs ("sharp"), acus ("needle"), Latvian ašs, ass ("sharp"), Ancient Greek ἀκίς (akis, "needle"), ἀκμή (akmē, "point"), and Persian آس (ās, "grinding stone")).


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  • In bookbinding, any of the three outer sides of the text block when a book is closed.

    February 22, 2007

  • I wonder how this came to mean an advantage in sport etc?

    December 5, 2007

  • Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. Program of The Zoological Society of London.

    April 2, 2009

  • WORD: edge

    EXAMPLE of American Heritage Dictionary definition "A margin of superiority; an advantage: a slight edge over the opposition"; Wiktionary definition "An advantage (as have the edge on)" ---->

    ' The Chicago Merc is part of CME Group, the biggest futures-exchange operator in the U.S., handling an average of 12.5 million contracts a day. Here some traders have an edge because they can get trading information anywhere from one to 10 milliseconds faster than others, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal last week.

    ' Not everyone has the computing power or the data-crunching prowess to stay milliseconds ahead of the rest. So, as the novelist George Orwell once wrote, some farm animals are more equal than others. '

    --- Al Lewis. "Caught in a Web". The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2013.

    September 24, 2013