: edge
especially : the edge at the top of a steep place
: a bank especially of a river
: the point of onset : verge
on the brink of war
: the threshold of danger

Examples of brink in a Sentence

was at the brink of death when the rescuers arrived
Recent Examples on the Web Profligate spending and overly bullish fund-raising projections put the campaign on the financial brink after only two months. Nicholas Nehamas, New York Times, 24 Dec. 2023 Many more companies are teetering on the financial brink. Ken Ward Jr., ProPublica, 1 Dec. 2023 But this far removed from its 1946 premiere, the dance also felt like a tribute to Samuel Barber’s haunting score, which seemed itself to hang ominously from the rafters, the music teetering indefinitely on an unfathomable brink. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 San Diego State’s struggling offense isn’t enough to prevent Aztecs from being on brink of first losing season in 14 years Standing is a long-standing tradition at San Diego State basketball games by fans who don’t take a seat until the Aztecs score. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2023 No matter the time frame, though, top economists have raised alarms that Republicans’ demands threaten to push the country to the fiscal brink — triggering a government default that could rattle global markets, thrust millions of Americans out of their jobs and precipitate another recession. Leigh Ann Caldwell, Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2023 After a Central Valley hospital closed earlier this year, and with several others on the financial brink, lawmakers voted last week to lend $150 million to struggling medical centers. Laurel Rosenhall, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2023 In 2011, for example, just going near the debt limit brink cost the government a credit-rating cut (by Standard & Poor’s) that has lasted ever since. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 May 2023 The result has inched the nation close to the fiscal brink, threatening the government with default as soon as this summer. Tony Romm, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brink.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse brekka slope; akin to Middle Dutch brink grassland

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brink was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near brink

Cite this Entry

“Brink.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brink. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the edge at the top of a steep place
: a point of beginning : verge
on the brink of war

More from Merriam-Webster on brink

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