\ ˈbriŋk How to pronounce brink (audio) \

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

The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, thrust millions to the brink of famine, and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Samy Magdy,, "Saudi-led airstrikes kill at least 100 in rebel-run prison," 1 Sep. 2019 Lack of food, the abundance of toxins in ocean waters and noise from boats have pushed them to the brink of extinction in the Pacific Northwest. Julia Duin, Washington Post, "Baby orcas, new law provide small hope for future of nearly extinct mammals," 26 Aug. 2019 The culture of the atomized individual has brought us to the brink. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, "One for All," 26 Aug. 2019 The two homers allowed by the Orioles brought them to the brink of tying the major league record for homers allowed during the season. Peter Schmuck,, "John Means flirts with no-hitter, but Royals wake up and send Orioles to eighth straight loss, 5-4," 20 Aug. 2019 However, the lack of federal funding is pushing shelters to the brink. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Asylum seekers report theft, exploitation in Mexicali’s migrant shelters," 7 Aug. 2019 The kākāpō, a chunky, flightless parrot, is considered critically endangered, pushed to the brink of extinction due to predation by cats and rats. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "It Will Take New Zealand 50 Million Years to Recover Its Lost Bird Biodiversity," 6 Aug. 2019 The Indian government blamed Pakistan for the terror attack in February, bringing the two countries to the brink of war after India retaliated by striking Pakistani targets. Fox News, "Pakistan's PM warns of suicide attacks, war after India ends disputed Kashmir's special status," 6 Aug. 2019 Getty Images/Science Photo Libra Seventy thousand years ago, a supervolcanic eruption may have driven humanity to the brink of extinction. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "99 percent of species have gone extinct. A new study looks at our odds of avoiding that fate.," 30 July 2019

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

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for brink

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

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More Definitions for brink


\ ˈbriŋk How to pronounce brink (audio) \

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).


concealment of treason or felony

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