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on edge

British pronunciation/ˌɒn ˈɛdʒ/
American pronunciation/ˌɑːn ˈɛdʒ/
on edge

used to refer to a state in which someone is extremely nervous and unable to relax

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on edge definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "on edge" and when to use it?

The idiom "on edge" has its origins in the early 17th century. The term "edge" refers to the sharp or thin boundary of a surface, and when used figuratively, it conveys the idea of being in a state of heightened sensitivity or alertness. It is commonly employed in both informal and formal settings to convey a sense of unease or tension. People may use this phrase to describe how they feel before a significant event, such as a job interview, public speaking engagement, or important performance. It is also used to express the general feeling of being on edge due to external factors like stressful situations, uncertain outcomes, or imminent threats.

1While the screens don't identify individuals, it's not hard to imagine a system that could, a thought that puts many on edge.
2And the upper classes were on edge.
3So we found ourselves living in a world where we steal from each other, which means that both of us are always on edge, and we see each other as enemies.
4Folks with GAD worry all the time and are frequently agitated and on edge, but unlike some other kinds of anxiety, patients often can't identify what's causing the anxiousness, so they don't even know what to avoid.
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