\ 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 His saga is one of a young man who burrowed into a mountain of obstacles — poverty, mental illness, family dysfunction, incarceration, violence — and was on the cusp of breaking through. Dallas News, "Lost promise: A life full of hardship, then hope, senselessly taken," 22 May 2020 Another early investor of Moderna is on the cusp of owning a stake worth at least $1 billion after the biotech firm reported encouraging early trial results for an experimental Covid-19 vaccine. Time, "This Professor Was One of the First Investors in Vaccine-Maker Moderna. He’s Now Worth Nearly $1 Billion," 19 May 2020 But more than anything, A Thousand Acres is about a place on the cusp of change—a place that the reader knows won’t look the same after the last page is turned. The Atlantic Culture Desk, The Atlantic, "20 Books to Read in Quarantine This Summer," 15 May 2020 Because the United States may be on the cusp of ending the very policies that have caused the recent progress. David Leonhardt, New York Times, "Coronavirus, California, Michael Flynn: Your Wednesday Briefing," 13 May 2020 Besides its ultra-sanitized work environment, ASML has the benefit of making machines that are considered almost recession-proof, given its commanding lead in an industry on the cusp of another technological leap: high-speed 5G networks. Natalia Drozdiak,, "Shielded from Pandemic, Work Continues in World’s Cleanest Room," 13 May 2020 One of the youths who crossed paths with Obama on tour was Shayla Allen, now a 17-year-old on the cusp of high school graduation in Philadelphia. Amy Kaufmanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "How the director of ‘Becoming’ got inside Michelle Obama’s motorcade," 11 May 2020 Those comments had rattled stock markets, and the joint statement released on Friday morning seemed aimed at reassuring businesses and investors that the world’s largest economies were not on the cusp of restarting the trade war. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Trump Says He’s ‘Torn’ on China Deal as Advisers Signal Harmony on Trade," 8 May 2020 Over the past month especially, the pandemic has shut down economies and the world is on the cusp of a recession. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "African startups funding is set to drop by nearly half in 2020," 4 May 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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cusp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 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

Spanish Central: Translation of cusp

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

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