1. the edge or margin of a steep place or of land bordering water.
  2. any extreme edge; verge.
  3. a crucial or critical point, especially of a situation or state beyond which success or catastrophe occurs: We were on the brink of war.


  1. the edge, border, or verge of a steep placethe brink of the precipice
  2. the highest point; topthe 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 statethe brink of disaster

early 13c., from Middle Low German brink “edge,” or Danish brink “steepness, shore, bank, grassy edge,” from Proto-Germanic *brenkon, probably from PIE *bhreng-, variant of root *bhren- “project, edge” (cf. Lithuanian brinkti “to swell”).

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