double-edged sword


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 surge in e-commerce business has been a double-edged sword for FedEx and UPS by spurring sales growth while squeezing profit margins, since home-deliveries are more costly to handle than dropoffs at commercial customers. Thomas Black / Bloomberg, Time, "FedEx Is Ending a Major Amazon Deal As Amazon Builds a Rival Shipping Network," 7 Aug. 2019 Profit pressure The surge in e-commerce business has been a double-edged sword for FedEx and UPS by spurring sales growth while squeezing profit margins, since home deliveries are more costly to handle than drop-offs at commercial customers. Los Angeles Times, "FedEx ends ground delivery contract with Amazon," 7 Aug. 2019 But using the Spanish language to woo voters is a double-edged sword: Advocates looking for clues about how candidates would respond to issues facing Latinos in the United States saw the gestures as promising and sincere. Washington Post, "Democrats’ use of Spanish in debate evokes praise, eye rolls," 27 June 2019 Contrasts with fellow Democrats to garner airtime, headlines and supporters can succeed, but can also be a double-edged sword. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Sunday Trail Markers: What to know about this week's Democratic debates," 23 June 2019 But being an avid runner since a young age proved to be a double-edged sword. Emilio Gonzalez-lu, The Mercury News, "James Lick grad runs through formidable adversity on way to valedictorian," 21 June 2019 Banning Huawei from dealing with US companies is definitely a double-edged sword. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Report: Google argues the Huawei ban would hurt its Android monopoly," 7 June 2019 But that commitment proved to be a double-edged sword. The Economist, "Charity begins at work," 6 June 2019 But the power of cinematic storytelling is a double-edged sword; viewers might have been able to see themselves in Sierra, but that reflection crossed a line into uncomfortable territory, given her actions. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "I Really Tried to Like “Sierra Burgess,” But Catfishing Isn’t Romantic — It’s Harmful," 10 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for double-edged sword

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for double-edged sword

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

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More Definitions for double-edged sword

double-edged sword


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

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of or relating to the heavens

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