on the edge

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*on the edge

Fig. very anxious and about to become distraught; on the verge of becoming irrational. (*Typically: be ~; live ~. See also on edge.) After the horrible events of the last week, we are all on the edge.
See also: edge, on

(live) on the edge

1. to be in an uncertain situation or one that could cause harm I do not believe a person has to live on the edge in order to be a creative artist. Related vocabulary: live dangerously
2. to be very poor Too many children live on the edge, without proper food or medical care.
See also: edge, on

on the edge

1. In a precarious position; also, in a state of keen excitement, as from danger or risk. For example, When the stock market crashed, their whole future was on the edge, or Skydivers obviously must enjoy living on the edge.
2. on the edge of. On the point of doing something, as in He was on the edge of winning the election when the sex scandal broke. [c. 1600] Both def. 1 and 2 allude to the danger of falling over the edge of a precipice.
See also: edge, on

on the edge

1. In a precarious position.
2. In a state of keen excitement, as from danger or risk: "the excitement of combat, of living on the edge" (Nelson DeMille).
See also: edge, on
References in classic literature ?
After a while the stranger sat down on the edge of the hole so that he could see into it, and rested the revolver on his knee.
Kama came back, sat down on the edge of the spruce boughs, and in the interval of waiting, mended harness.
He looked round the little cabin, at the painted beams, at the tarnished varnish of bulkheads; he looked round as if appealing to all its shabby strangeness, to the disorderly jumble of unfamiliar things that belong to an inconceivable life of stress, of power, of endeavour, of unbelief--to the strong life of white men, which rolls on irresistible and hard on the edge of outer darkness.
He found himself sitting on the edge of the bed and staring about him like an awakened somnambulist.
After she left him he sat drearily, with drooping shoulders, on the edge of the bed, gazing about him with lack-lustre eyes that saw nothing until the torn wrapper of a magazine, which had come in the morning's mail and which lay unopened, shot a gleam of light into his darkened brain.
It's beautiful," she acknowledged, with a grateful smile, "but--" She turned and pointed to their packs on the edge of the lupine.
A small taper on the edge of the table shed a feeble light which sufficed to show me that he was fully dressed.