double-edged sword

noun

Definition of double-edged sword

: something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences This much freedom of expression and opinion can be a double-edged sword.— Linda Connors

Examples of double-edged sword in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The industries that brought jobs turned out to be a double-edged sword, Womack says, by leaving a legacy of pollution and cancers that many residents think were caused by emissions from the paper mills and other heavy industries. National Geographic, "https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2020/02/clotilda-americas-last-slave-ship-stole-them-from-home-it-couldnt-steal-their-identities-feature.html," 16 Jan. 2020 Real-estate holdings are a double-edged sword, loan officers said. Katy Mclaughlin, WSJ, "You’re Never Too Old to Apply for a Mortgage," 16 Jan. 2020 And as with any tourist hotspot, the influx of villagers is a double-edged sword. Stephen Mays, CNN, "Settle in with these weekend reads," 10 Jan. 2020 Religion, the researcher noted can be a double-edged sword. Bhanu Sridharan, Quartz India, "In a Himalayan Indian village, “leopards escort humans safely”," 24 Dec. 2019 In a new interview with ET, the group discussed the considerable expansion of K-pop and its increasing popularity among Western audiences, which can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "NCT 127: “There’s Never Been a Time Like This for K-Pop”," 10 Dec. 2019 The open-top nature of the half track was a double-edged sword: while infantry could jump out over the side of the thin steel walls, there was no overhead protection to protect troops from airburst artillery. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Restored WWII Half-Track Is a Masterpiece," 19 Nov. 2019 But that’s a double-edged sword: Oregon mustn’t falter under the pressure that comes with controlling one’s Playoff destiny. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Oregon vs. Arizona picks, predictions: Wildcats huge underdogs in Pac-12 game vs. Ducks," 13 Nov. 2019 Ms Patel’s populist version of politics is also a double-edged sword. The Economist, "Letting Priti Patel lead Britain’s law-and-order agenda is risky," 19 Oct. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for double-edged sword

Time Traveler

The first known use of double-edged sword was in the 15th century

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Statistics for double-edged sword

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Double-edged sword.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/double-edged%20sword. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for double-edged sword

double-edged sword

noun

English Language Learners Definition of double-edged sword

: a sword that has two sharp edges
: something that has both good and bad parts or results

Comments on double-edged sword

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