\ ˈkəsp How to pronounce cusp (audio) \

Definition of cusp

: point, apex: such as
a : a point of transition (as from one historical period to the next) : turning point also : edge, verge on the cusp of stardom … you're on the cusp between heat exhaustion and life-threatening heatstroke. — Mark Jannot
b : either horn of a crescent moon
c : a fixed point on a mathematical curve at which a point tracing the curve would exactly reverse its direction of motion
d : an ornamental pointed projection formed by or arising from the intersection of two arcs or foils (see foil entry 2 sense 4)
e(1) : a point on the grinding surface of a tooth
(2) : a fold or flap of a cardiac valve

Illustration of cusp

Illustration of cusp

1 cusp d

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Other Words from cusp

cuspate \ ˈkə-​ˌspāt How to pronounce cuspate (audio) , -​spət \ adjective
cusped \ ˈkəspt How to pronounce cusped (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cusp in a Sentence

the cusp of a tooth medical researchers who are on the cusp of a major breakthrough

Recent Examples on the Web

Case Western Reserve, coming off an 8-2 season, and Baldwin Wallace each received votes and are on the cusp of cracking the top 25. Branson Wright,, "Division II, III college football preview: Notre Dame College, Mount Union are in championship hunt," 31 Aug. 2019 Arsenal are on the cusp of having a major injury boost after the upcoming international break, with Héctor Bellerín, Kieran Tierney and Konstantinos Mavropanos set to return to full training next month., "Injured Arsenal Trio Set to Return Next Month as Rob Holding Features for Under-23s," 29 Aug. 2019 As of May, the F.E.C. had a backlog of nearly three hundred cases, some dating back to 2012, forty-five of which were on the cusp of a five-year statute of limitations that will toss them off the docket. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Filling the Empty Seats at the F.E.C. Won’t Fix America’s Corrupt Elections," 29 Aug. 2019 America's Got Talent 2019 semifinalist Tyler Butler-Figueroa is on the cusp of landing a recording deal, according to TMZ. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer Winner Tyler Butler-Figueroa Reportedly Has a HUGE Secret Deal on the Line," 27 Aug. 2019 That forecast has increased to predicting a storm on the cusp of becoming a Category 1 hurricane off the Florida coast. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Hurricane Watch up for Puerto Rico as Dorian churns west; Florida eyeing potential weekend impact," 27 Aug. 2019 Though La Cañada was on the cusp of scoring a touchdown the Spartans had to settle for a 25-yard field goal in which kicker Andy Kozanian nailed to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at 8:34 in the first. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada rallies to nonleague victory over Hacienda Heights Wilson in season opener," 22 Aug. 2019 For the Dolphins, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is on the cusp of claiming the starting position over second-year Josh Rosen. Albert Breer,, "In Washington and Miami, Who Will Be the Starting Quarterbacks?," 15 Aug. 2019 Our son was on the cusp of being viable outside the womb. Jon Michaud, The New Yorker, "Julius: The Story of a Premature Birth," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cusp.' 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 cusp

1585, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cusp

Latin cuspis point

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Statistics for cusp

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cusp

The first known use of cusp was in 1585

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More Definitions for cusp



English Language Learners Definition of cusp

technical : a pointed end or part where two curves meet


\ ˈkəsp How to pronounce cusp (audio) \

Kids Definition of cusp

: a point or pointed end the cusp of a tooth


\ ˈkəsp How to pronounce cusp (audio) \

Medical Definition of cusp

1 : a point on the grinding surface of a tooth
2 : a fold or flap of a cardiac valve

Other Words from cusp

cuspal \ ˈkəs-​pəl How to pronounce cuspal (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on cusp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cusp

Spanish Central: Translation of cusp

Nglish: Translation of cusp for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cusp

Comments on cusp

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


recurring in steady succession

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