Meaning of EDGE in English

I. edge 1 S2 W2 /edʒ/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: ecg ]

1 . OUTSIDE PART [countable] the part of an object that is furthest from its centre:

Put the eggs in the centre of the dish, with the vegetables and herbs around the edge.

the edge of something

the right hand edge of the page

Jennifer walked to the edge of the wood.

Billy sat on the edge of the bed.

He stood at the water’s edge staring across the lake.

A leaf was on the ground, curling up at the edges.

2 . BLADE [countable] the thin sharp part of a blade or tool that cuts:

a knife with a sharp edge

3 . ADVANTAGE [singular, uncountable] something that gives you an advantage over others:

Companies are employing more research teams to get an edge.

The next version of the software will have the edge over its competitors.

4 . on edge nervous, especially because you are expecting something unpleasant to happen:

Paul felt on edge about meeting Lisa.

5 . VOICE [singular] a quality in someone’s voice that makes it sound slightly angry or impatient:

There was an edge of hostility in Jack’s voice.

Desperation lent an edge to her voice.

6 . SLOPE [countable] an area beside a very steep slope:

She walked almost to the edge of the cliff.

7 . on the edge of something close to the point at which something different, especially something bad, will happen:

Their economy is on the edge of collapse.

She is on the edge of despair.

8 . QUALITY [singular] a special quality of excitement or danger:

The school’s campaign has been given an extra edge by being filmed for television.

9 . take the edge off something to make something less bad, good, strong etc:

Pascoe was drinking whisky to take the edge off the pain.

10 . on the edge of your seat giving all your attention to something exciting:

The film’s ending had me on the edge of my seat.

11 . be on the edge informal to be behaving in a way that makes it seem as if you are going crazy

⇨ ↑ cutting edge

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ adjectives

▪ the top edge

I gripped the top edge of the door and pulled myself up.

▪ the bottom/lower edge

The lower edge of the window frame was starting to rot.

▪ the front/back edge

I banged my elbow on the front edge of the desk.

▪ the inside/inner edge

He painted carefully around the inner edge of each door.

▪ the outside/outer edge

The airport is located on the outer edge of town.

▪ the northern/southern etc edge (=the part of an area that is close to the point where the area ends)

There’s a ridge of hills on the northern edge of the county.

■ phrases

▪ the edge of the sea (=the land next to the sea)

The castle stands on the edge of the sea.

▪ the river’s/water’s edge (=the land next to a river etc)

We sat down at the water’s edge.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)

■ verbs

▪ have the edge over somebody/something (=to be slightly better than someone or something else)

We believe our products have the edge over the competition.

▪ get/gain an edge over somebody/something (=gain a small advantage over someone or something else)

A well trained workforce is a key factor in gaining a competitive edge over our rivals.

▪ give somebody the edge (=give someone a small advantage)

I hope my qualifications and experience will give me the edge.

▪ lose your edge (=lose an advantage that you had)

He’s had a lot of injuries and lost a lot of his competitive edge.

■ adjectives

▪ a slight edge ( also a bit of an edge ) (=a small advantage)

Running on the inside lane will give him a slight edge.

▪ a distinct edge (=a definite or noticeable advantage)

Being tall gives you a distinct edge in some sports.

▪ a competitive edge (=something that makes a person or business able to compete successfully against other people or businesses)

He believes investment in new technology is the only way for the company to maintain its competitive edge.

• • •


▪ edge the part of something that is furthest from its centre or nearest the place where it ends:

He got up quickly, knocking his plate off the edge of the table.


the outer edge of the village

▪ side the part of something that is near its left or right edge:

On the left side of the garden there was an old stone wall.


They parked by the side of the road.

▪ rim the edge of something circular, especially the top of a cup or glass, or the outside edge of a pair of glasses:

a white cup with a gold rim


She was looking at me over the rim of her spectacles.

▪ margin the empty space at the side of a page that has writing on it:

My teacher had marked my essay and made some comments in the margin.


Leave wide margins on both sides of the page.

▪ hem the edge of a piece of cloth that is turned under and stitched down, especially the lower edge of a skirt, trousers etc:

If you want the dress a bit shorter, I can easily turn up the hem.

▪ kerb British English , curb American English the edge of the pavement (=raised path) at the side of a road:

A big black car was parked at the kerb.

▪ outskirts the areas of a city that are furthest away from the centre:

The new station was built on the outskirts of the city.

▪ perimeter the outside edge around an enclosed area of land such as a military camp or a prison:

Security guards patrol the perimeter night and day.

II. edge 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . MOVE [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] to move gradually with several small movements, or to make something do this:

Tim was edging away from the crowd.

She edged closer to get a better look.

He edged her towards the door.

edge your way into/round/through etc something

Christine edged her way round the back of the house.

2 . PUT AT EDGE [transitive usually passive] to put something on the edge or border of something:

The city square was edged by trees.

be edged with something

The tablecloth is edged with lace.

3 . CHANGE [intransitive, transitive always + adverb/preposition] to change gradually, especially so as to get better or worse

edge up/down

Profits have edged up.

The paper has edged ahead of (=been more successful than) its rivals.

4 . GRASS [transitive] to cut the edges of an area of grass so that they are tidy and straight

edge somebody ↔ out phrasal verb

1 . to defeat someone by a small amount:

Italy edged out France by two points.

2 . to gradually force someone to leave their job or an area of activity

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.