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razor

[rey-zer] /ˈreɪ zər/
noun
1.
a sharp-edged instrument used especially for shaving the face or trimming the hair.
2.
an electrically powered instrument used for the same purpose.
verb (used with object)
3.
to shave, cut, or remove with or as if with a razor.
Idioms
4.
on the razor's edge, in a difficult or precarious position.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English rasour < Old French rasor, equivalent to ras(er) to raze + -or -or2
Related forms
razorless, adjective
unrazored, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for razor
  • The razor blade was being used as a knife edge in optical measurements.
  • These two photos below show a safety razor and the removable blade that they use.
  • In the digital age, razor-sharp clarity and definition are the keys to success.
  • On a lark, he took razor to tape to edit out the barks and then painstakingly spliced them together.
  • But it beats the ingrown hairs and razor bumps that come from shaving, she says.
  • The only surgeon was one who combined the occasional exercise of that noble art with the daily and habitual flourish of a razor.
  • Whereas if he had used a razor or a penknife, he had odds against himself of spoiling a whole sheet.
  • It's a daunting concrete barricade, three stories high, thorned with razor wire.
  • The lines of its body follow the lines of the flower, while the detail of his carapace and the spikes on one leg are razor sharp.
  • Watkins's route follows razor-thin ridges, hair-raising paths, and vertigo-inducing drops.
British Dictionary definitions for razor

razor

/ˈreɪzə/
noun
1.
a sharp implement used esp by men for shaving the face
2.
on a razor's edge, on a razor-edge, in an acute dilemma
verb
3.
(transitive) to cut or shave with a razor
Word Origin
C13: from Old French raseor, from raser to shave; see raze
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for razor
n.

late 13c., from Old French raseor "a razor" (12c.), from raser "to scrape, shave" (see rase). Razor clam (1835, American English) so called because its shell resembles an old folding straight-razor. Razor-edge figurative of sharpness or a fine surface from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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razor in the Bible

The Nazarites were forbidden to make use of the razor (Num. 6:5; Judg. 13:5). At their consecration the Levites were shaved all over with a razor (Num. 8:7; comp. Ps. 52:2; Ezek. 5:1).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with razor
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for razor

keen-edged cutting implement for shaving or cutting hair. Prehistoric cave drawings show that clam shells, shark's teeth, and sharpened flints were used as shaving implements, and flints are still in use by certain primitive tribes. Solid gold and copper razors have been found in Egyptian tombs of the 4th millennium BC. According to the Roman historian Livy, the razor was introduced in Rome in the 6th century BC by Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, legendary king of Rome; but shaving did not become customary until the 5th century BC.

Learn more about razor with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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