Definition of brink in English:



  • 1The extreme edge of land before a steep slope or a body or water.

    ‘the brink of the cliffs’
    ‘at the brink of the pond I hesitated’
    • ‘She stood on the brink of a waterfall, the icy cold river rushed about her waist.’
    • ‘The young brave soon found he was on the brink of a cliff hanging high over a wide river.’
    • ‘At last he implored Edgar to guide him to the brink of a cliff so that he could throw himself off.’
    • ‘I took a seat on the brink of the pond and ran my hand along the warm water.’
    • ‘I am now finding myself on a deserted beach on the brink of a saline washout.’
    • ‘It didn't feel like she was on the brink of a cliff about to fall off.’
    edge, verge, margin, rim, lip
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    1. 1.1A point at which something, typically something unwelcome, is about to happen; the verge.
      ‘the country was on the brink of a constitutional crisis’
      ‘the club has come close to the brink, surviving winding-up orders’
      • ‘There could be an outcome where the country goes up to the brink, yet doesn't cross over, even though it can.’
      • ‘British cinema was on the brink of crisis and as the 1950s progressed, audiences decreased.’
      • ‘She was aware that she was on the brink, dangerously close to being rude to this respected Elder.’
      • ‘I fear that the world is on the brink of a chronic shortage.’
      • ‘Yes, this is on the brink of a crisis.’
      • ‘We find ourselves in the interesting situation of a state being on the brink of invading another state.’
      • ‘That doesn't mean the region is on the brink of another financial crisis.’
      • ‘Jimmy Carter's presidency was in trouble and the whole world seemed to be close to the brink.’
      • ‘It was obvious in 1929 that Germany was on the brink of a financial crisis.’
      • ‘The extraordinary gifts that had brought him thus far could, under the impact of frustration, lead him over the brink.’
      • ‘He was on the brink of clinical depression.’
      • ‘Where are the front-page stories merited by a situation in which the planet is quite possibly on the brink of a holocaust?’
      • ‘Indeed, to judge by the level of public awareness, you'd scarcely know we were on the brink of an energy crisis.’
      • ‘Liquor emerged as a central issue that pushed household economies to the brink.’
      • ‘But his brush with death was all too real, bringing him closer to the brink than he'd ever imagined.’
      • ‘Market stalls full of food in a nation where food shortages have left millions of people on the brink of starvation.’
      • ‘The United States is on the brink of a crisis in health care, particularly for hospitals.’
      • ‘But the current tidal wave of red ink has some carriers on the brink of destruction.’
      • ‘Helen was right on the brink, as close as one could possibly get to succeeding.’
      • ‘New Zealand is on the brink of another energy crisis - or so we're being told.’
      verge, edge, threshold, point, dawn
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Middle English: of Scandinavian origin.