\ 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

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 If the Pads are on the cusp of such a run, good times are coming to San Diego’s East Village. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Should Padres study Rays, who with less money have No. 1 farm system and 69-50 record?," 12 Aug. 2019 Both teams have 27 points and are on the cusp of one of 10 playoff spots in the Western Conference. Terrence Thomas,, "SAFC forward’s game is a world apart," 2 Aug. 2019 Both Leitão and Luiz Muzzi, the vice president of soccer operations, insisted on Wednesday night Orlando City is on the cusp of finally turning the corner. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City needs to build on soccer momentum created by MLS All-Star Game," 2 Aug. 2019 For the genre, which has been on the cusp of mainstream success, the upcoming album is a massive opportunity to make a lasting impact on the American music scene. Haleluya Hadero, Quartz Africa, "Beyonce’s “Lion King” soundtrack is set to cement Afrobeats in the global mainstream," 16 July 2019 Another profound takeaway from the study: For women in or on the cusp of the C-suite, an ability to deftly navigate business culture by adopting a fluid leadership style contributes to long-term success. Stephanie Walden, USA TODAY, "What everyone can learn from a new report on women’s leadership styles," 15 July 2019 In part to help founders manage tough transitions, Mr. Pincus is on the cusp of unveiling a new venture fund called Reinvent Capital to fund companies through second acts and encourage founders to stay involved as entrepreneurs-in-chief. Rolfe Winkler, WSJ, "Beyond the Confetti: The Dark Side of Startup Success," 12 July 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

20 Aug 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).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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