get a word in edgewise


with the edge forward; in the direction of the edge.
get a word in edgewise, to succeed in entering a conversation or expressing one's opinion in spite of competition or opposition: There were so many people talking at once that I couldn't get a word in edgewise.
Also, edgeways [ej-weyz] .

1560–70; edge + -wise Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

get a word in edgewise

Also, get a word in edgeways. Insert oneself into a conversation or express one's opinion despite competition from other speakers. For example, So many people had questions for the lecturer that it was hard to get a word in edgewise, or Nancy loves to talk, and I couldn't get a word in edgeways. This idiom, often put in the negative, transfers an object with its edge foremost to inserting conversation. [Late 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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