\ 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 In 2016, multiple ambitious high-end restaurants in the city that opened to glowing reviews lasted only months before closing, leading some to speculate the country was on the cusp of a restaurant industry collapse, starting in San Francisco. Justin Phillips,, "SF had the country's premier fine dining scene. Do Michelin stars matter now?," 9 Sep. 2020 The People's Bank of China is on the cusp of launching a digital yuan, which many believe will help China weaken the influence of the greenback in global trade. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Mastercard launches digital currency kit for central banks," 9 Sep. 2020 His previous cover for The New Yorker featured a burst of seasonal cheer in wintry New York, and his latest, which arrives on the cusp of autumn, does something similar, though its main players aren’t human. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Edward Steed’s “Overgrown”," 7 Sep. 2020 Mojave desert tortoises don’t reach reproductive maturity until about age 15, so this particular animal would have been on the cusp of being able to help propagate its species before July fireworks blew up that possibility. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Biologists survey wildfire destruction on Utah tortoise habitat," 6 Sep. 2020 Eight years later, the series' handlers at Activision are back with another crack at the first two Tony Hawk games, once again on the cusp of a new console generation. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 PC impressions: No pretending for this Superman," 4 Sep. 2020 On a national level, the USCIS has since cleared the backlog of people on the cusp of citizenship who could not take their oaths because of the pandemic. Katsuri Pananjady And Ana Radelat,, "Backlogs and delays in naturalizations will keep many Connecticut immigrants from voting this year," 4 Sep. 2020 Zhang would be relinquishing control over an asset that boasts upwards of a 100 million users in the U.S. and is on the cusp of monetizing that base. Zheping Huang,, "ByteDance Chief Reconsiders TikTok Options After New China Rules," 1 Sep. 2020 The Afghan government and the Taliban are stalled on the cusp of direct negotiations in Qatar as a dispute continues about a prisoner exchange on both sides. New York Times, "Taliban Violated Afghan Deal With Shelling of American Bases, U.S. Officials Say," 30 Aug. 2020

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

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cusp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for cusp


How to pronounce cusp (audio)

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

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

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