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.

1250–1300; Middle English brink < Old Norse (Danish) brink, cognate with MLG brink edge, hillside, Old Norse brekka slope, hill

brinkless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
brink (brɪŋk)
1.  the edge, border, or verge of a steep place: the brink of the precipice
2.  the highest point; top: the sun fell below the brink of the hill
3.  the land at the edge of a body of water
4.  the verge of an event or state: the brink of disaster
[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 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from M.L.G. brink "edge," or Dan. brink "steepness, shore, bank, grassy edge," from P.Gmc. *brenkon, prob. from PIE *bhreng-, variant of base *bhren- "project, edge" (cf. Lith. brinkti "to swell").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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