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 shift to private messaging has renewed a debate over whether encryption is a double-edged sword. New York Times, "Are Private Messaging Apps the Next Misinformation Hot Spot?," 3 Feb. 2021 Perdue's unconventional coziness with the Trumps, the elder Trump specifically, has been a double-edged sword for the GOP incumbent. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Sen. David Perdue: The former businessman-turned-politician looking to Trump to help win his runoff race," 15 Dec. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic proved to be a double-edged sword for Devine. Matt Le Cren,, "Not even a derecho could stop Neuqua Valley’s Jada Devine from committing to Kirkwood Community College," 8 Dec. 2020 Aggressive judicial oversight of government action is always a double-edged sword. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "Courts check Biden's power, same as Trump's," 28 Jan. 2021 Greer notes the internet is a double-edged sword but trans folks all over want to be supportive – whether that's through video tutorials for hair and makeup or finding professional support in the way of counseling or therapy. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Many are more comfortable in their bodies during the pandemic. For some LGBTQ people, it's the opposite.," 25 Jan. 2021 Anxiety is a double-edged sword during times of crisis, Halkitis says. Tony Bravo,, "#gaysovercovid reminds us that it’s OK to clap back on bad pandemic behavior," 15 Jan. 2021 DeJesus says the increase of calls is a double-edged sword. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, "Coping through COVID: Mental health officials in Cuyahoga County worry as pandemic heightens attempted suicides, offers resources to the community," 29 Dec. 2020 Her victory thrust her into the spotlight — but that quickly became a double-edged sword. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "'Squad' member Ilhan Omar expected to win in general election as war of words with Trump continues," 22 Oct. 2020

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

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

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Double-edged sword.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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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