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 And then there is the election that has turned some of Janey’s former allies into her competitors and the mayor’s office into a coveted but double-edged sword., 26 Aug. 2021 But the bountiful precipitation has also been a double-edged sword, creating a political challenge for negotiators trying to agree on painful cuts, according to analysts following the talks. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Feb. 2023 As Damian explains, ambition can be a double-edged sword. Gen Handley, SPIN, 27 Jan. 2023 This is essential for any organization, small or large, as experience can often be a double-edged sword. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 This is a double-edged sword, however, as the large torrent of information and data can be hard to parse through. Dallas News, 18 Jan. 2023 Skinamarink leaking online was a double-edged sword, according to Ball. Megan McCluskey, Time, 13 Jan. 2023 This popularity, experts say, can be a double-edged sword. Faith Karimi, CNN, 7 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'double-edged sword.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near double-edged sword

Cite this Entry

“Double-edged sword.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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