\ ˈbriŋk \

Definition of brink 

1 : edge especially : the edge at the top of a steep place

2 : a bank especially of a river

3 : the point of onset : verge on the brink of war

4 : the threshold of danger

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Synonyms for brink


cusp, edge, point, threshold, verge

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Examples of brink in a Sentence

was at the brink of death when the rescuers arrived

Recent Examples on the Web

To dissociate themselves from the chancellor’s decision to keep Germany’s borders open during the refugee crisis, the Bavarians are pushing her to the brink. The Economist, "The politics of migration in Germany," 21 June 2018 Rape, child molestation, divorce and loneliness were just a few of the triggers that pushed them to the brink. Wayne Drash And Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Back from the brink of suicide, they want to save others," 14 June 2018 The protests, held each Friday, have pushed the healthcare system to the brink. Hanah Salah,, "Israel shoots to wound, not kill. That has led to a wave of amputations in Gaza," 8 June 2018 In West Virginia, where starting teachers make about $32,000 a year, and Oklahoma, where budget cuts have forced some schools to move to four-day weeks, teachers were pushed to the brink. Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, "From the classroom to the campaign trail: Emboldened teachers run for office," 2 June 2018 That would not have been an issue had the USGA not pushed the greens to the brink in the first place. Marcus Hayes,, "USGA says No. 7 at Shinnecock won't happen in this year's U.S. Open. But what will? | Marcus Hayes," 22 May 2018 In just the last week, Oleniczak had three homers and threw a no-hitter in the same game, and the Knights then exploded offensively against a strong Franklin team that took the Knights to the brink in their first meeting, 1-0. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In a grueling softball sectional, Oak Creek once again stands to be a tough out," 9 May 2018 Excellent coach who took the Bulldogs to the brink. Langston Wertz Jr., charlotteobserver, "Did UNC fans see their next coach during NCAA tournament? | Charlotte Observer," 16 Mar. 2018 The September storm, which destroyed much of the island’s electricity system, cut into tax collections and prompted many residents to flee to the U.S. mainland, exaggerating the financial drain that had already pushed it to the brink., "Puerto Rico Governor Says Storm Deeply Cut Ability to Pay Debts," 25 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brink.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brink

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brink

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

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Phrases Related to brink

teetering on the brink/edge of

the brink

Statistics for brink

Last Updated

11 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brink

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

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More Definitions for brink


\ ˈbriŋk \

Kids Definition of brink

1 : the edge at the top of a steep place

2 : a point of beginning But everything else was … on the brink of burning … —Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

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Comments on brink

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characteristic trappings or dress

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