double-edged sword

[ duhb-uhl-ejd sawrd ]


  1. a sword whose blade has two cutting edges:

    This game character wields a wide double-edged sword to slice an enemy in two, armor and all, with brute strength.

  2. something whose desirable effects are necessarily accompanied by undesirable ones:

    Studying from home is a double-edged sword—you can roll out of bed at 10 a.m. and attend class in your pajamas, but you can skip class with equal ease.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of double-edged sword1

First recorded in 1580–90

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Example Sentences

But this public awareness of ED has been a double-edged sword.

As a tool of social activism, plague functions as a double-edged sword.

It's also a double-edged sword that could hurt local Democrats and Republicans alike.

He can wield energy as a weapon now, but it is already proving a double-edged sword.

Still, Botox injections and facelifts are a double-edged sword.

It cut Ruby as a double edged sword, for she understood that he cared well enough that way—æsthetically.

But this means proved to be a double-edged sword that turned against the very people it was intended to benefit.

The long cut-and-thrust sword is not uncommon, and also the khanda or double-edged sword.

It is described by Dr. Agnew, the surgeon, as "a double-edged sword, cutting either way for good or for evil."

In the dining hall, too, is preserved an ancient cross-bow, and a large two-handed double-edged sword about five feet in length.


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