a double-edged sword

double-edged sword

Something that can be both beneficial and problematic. Going back to school was a double-edged sword for Pam. On the one hand, it would widen her career prospects, but, on the other hand, she would be in a lot of debt when she graduated.
See also: sword

a double-edged sword


a two-edged sword

COMMON If something is a double-edged sword or a two-edged sword, it has both an advantage and a disadvantage. The strong yen is a double-edged sword for Japan. It increases the spending power of consumers, but it also raises the costs of exports for manufacturers. Fame is a two-edged sword bringing as many problems as it does privileges.
See also: sword

a double-edged sword (or weapon)

a course of action or situation having both positive and negative effects.
2000 Investor A rising pound is a double-edged sword when investing overseas.
See also: sword
References in classic literature ?
Violent without craftiness, and furious without malice, one may imagine him seated masterfully with a double-edged sword on his knees upon the painted and gilt clouds of the sunset, bowing his shock head of golden locks, a flaming beard over his breast, imposing, colossal, mighty-limbed, with a thundering voice, distended cheeks and fierce blue eyes, urging the speed of his gales.
In his kingly way he has taken but little account of lives sacrificed to his impulsive policy; he is a king with a double-edged sword bared in his right hand.
Vivid characterization brings personal foibles and power struggles to life, and the power of music is a double-edged sword, as is the lure of money in this captivating human drama.
These restrictions would act like a double-edged sword," Parviz Sorouri said in an interview with FNA on Wednesday.
These effects could be a double-edged sword in the presence of carcinogens, says molecular biologist Michael Karin.
The crux of the difficulty is competency in language which, Murtagh claims, is a double-edged sword.
A reader who asked that he not be named pointed out that press freedom can sometimes be a double-edged sword.
NEWCASTLE manager Graeme Souness will welcome back his pounds 32m strikeforce of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen back at Everton tomorrow, admitting their return could be a double-edged sword.
Schoen takes the history of North Carolina's eugenic sterilization program between 1929 and 1975 and puts it into a national and global context, showing that at home and abroad, contraceptive technology has been a double-edged sword, permitting women unprecedented ability to control their own fertility white at the same time allowing governments to coerce and control whole populations.
Accounting reforms, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, have been a double-edged sword for these professionals, however, increasing demand for their services but also adding considerably to their workloads.
NHI associate publisher Lynn Yoffe said, "The public appetite for aesthetic procedures is off the charts--but the dramatic growth in the field is a double-edged sword, bringing not only a huge upside but also a host of difficult legal and practice management challenges.
This could be a double-edged sword for the tenured dancers (approximately 300 of them) in the seven Italian opera house companies.
Although activist Malcolm X called Bunche "a black man who didn't know his history," he was nobody's fool, for he knew the advent of integrationist politics could be a double-edged sword.
As homes have become more energy efficient they have become a double-edged sword for people with allergies to mold.
It's a double-edged sword, because the fact that you are different .