"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bringk] /brɪŋk/
the edge or margin of a steep place or of land bordering water.
any extreme edge; verge.
a crucial or critical point, especially of a situation or state beyond which success or catastrophe occurs:
We were on the brink of war.
Origin of brink
1250-1300; Middle English brink < Old Norse (Danish) brink, cognate with MLG brink edge, hillside, Old Norse brekka slope, hill
Related forms
brinkless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brink
  • Its disciplinary practice, he says, is poised on the brink of irrelevancy.
  • The discovery increases the possibility that the heavily spotted cats can be rescued from the brink of extinction.
  • Wolves lose, tigers gain, penguins in peril and other updates from the brink.
  • It's good that none of us can actually see the drop until we're out there, on the brink.
  • Five years later, on the brink of graduation, the renovated building that houses her professors' offices bears her name.
  • The stress of financing the war, combined with cuts in foreign aid, brought the economy to the brink of crisis.
  • Cell phone networks worldwide are on the brink of becoming sophisticated weather gauges, researchers say.
  • More pictures from a traveling photo exhibit of creatures on the brink.
  • Nothing would have tempted me to within half a dozen yards of its brink.
  • Jobless, penniless and on the brink of homelessness.
British Dictionary definitions for brink


the edge, border, or verge of a steep place: the brink of the precipice
the highest point; top: the sun fell below the brink of the hill
the land at the edge of a body of water
the verge of an event or state: the brink of disaster
Word Origin
C13: from Middle Dutch brinc, of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse brekka slope, Middle Low German brink edge of a field
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for brink

early 13c., from Middle Low German brink "edge," or Danish brink "steepness, shore, bank, grassy edge," from Proto-Germanic *brenkon, probably from PIE *bhreng-, variant of root *bhren- "project, edge" (cf. Lithuanian brinkti "to swell").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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