cutting edge

noun
1.
the sharp edge of a cutting implement.
2.
forefront; lead: on the cutting edge of computer technology.

Origin:
1950–55

cutting-edge, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cutting edge
 
n
1.  the leading position in any field; forefront: on the cutting edge of space technology
 
adj
2.  at the forefront of people or things in a field of activity; leading: cutting-edge technology

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cutting edge
also cutting-edge, 1825 in the literal sense (often at first with reference to plows); fig. sense is from c.1970.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Tobacco companies learned early to situate themselves at the cutting edge of
  advertising.
As far as global innovation is concerned, perhaps a few dozen places worldwide
  really compete at the cutting edge.
However, my sense is that these efforts remain far more at the cutting edge
  than they should.
The repeated testing of knowledge by experiment, he insisted, is the cutting
  edge of learning.
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