\ 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

At a meeting Thursday, the bloc was on the brink of agreeing to recognize the interim presidency of Juan Guaidó this weekend but Italy barred the move, according to several European diplomats. ... Laurence Norman, WSJ, "EU Struggles to Reach United Response to Venezuelan Crisis," 1 Feb. 2019 Democrats and Republicans previously have not had problems unifying around CHIP, but events over the past few months have led things to an extraordinary brink for something pretty much everyone agrees is a worthwhile government program. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Here's how children's health became a bargaining CHIP in government shutdown talks," 19 Jan. 2018 With a high Alpine landscape, world-class skiing, and mineral-rich waters once referred to as the fountain of youth, this eclectic but almost-forgotten town teeters on the brink of rebirth. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This Austrian Spa and Ski Town Is Straight Out of a Wes Anderson Film," 11 Jan. 2019 The conflict has spurred a massive humanitarian crisis, leaving more than 12 million people on the brink of starvation and in desperate need of assistance. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Saudi Arabia is reportedly outsourcing its war in Yemen to child soldiers," 30 Dec. 2018 The twilight of the Republican elites To head off a looming 2020 crisis, Republican elites need to step back from the brink. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Republican Party versus democracy," 17 Dec. 2018 Bald eagles: Bald eagles have also come back from the brink. Tom Stienstra,, "Chart-buster times: salmon to whales, bears to bighorns," 8 July 2018 Kock and fellow conservationists warned against focusing only on the northern white rhino sub-species, noting that its southern cousin has come back from the brink of extinction and now numbers some 21,000 individuals. Washington Post, "Scientists create hybrids in race to save rhino sub-species," 4 July 2018 Bluescape’s chairman is John Wilder, an energy veteran who was credited for pulling TXU, a Texas utility, from the brink of insolvency. Rob Nikolewski,, "Sempra selling some of its assets — but activist investors appear unmoved," 28 June 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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Statistics for brink

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on brink

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brink

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brink

Spanish Central: Translation of brink

Nglish: Translation of brink for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brink for Arabic Speakers

Comments on brink

What made you want to look up brink? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

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