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

Turn up the volume This is one of those double-edged sword problems. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "6 ways to keep Alexa from eavesdropping on you," 25 May 2018 Dating is complicated for any generation, but millennials must contend with the double-edged sword of technology. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Living Single: RedEye reporters try speed dating in Chicago," 8 Feb. 2018 Brand executives privately say Amazon’s push for profitability can be a double-edged sword. Annie Gasparro, WSJ, "Amazon Targets Unprofitable Items, With a Sharper Focus on the Bottom Line," 16 Dec. 2018 The internet offers freedom, but remember that freedom is a double-edged sword. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Working from home—or more specifically, working from home in bed—is a double-edged sword. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "At last, a furniture collection designed to mimic working from bed," 5 Dec. 2018 Polling suggests the Trump rallies and election talk are a double-edged sword. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "How Republicans Could Still Win," 13 Sep. 2018 But of course the double-edged sword there, by virtue of doing that, he ultimately looks extremely put together. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Pete Davidson and the Rise of the Scumbro," 29 June 2018 That makes his reliance on them something of a double-edged sword: taking credit for the positive results means taking responsibility for the negative ones as well. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Immigration Forces Beyond Trump’s Control," 8 June 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

13 Apr 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

Comments on double-edged sword

What made you want to look up double-edged sword? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no equal

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