Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

brink of disaster

A point very close to complete ruin, destruction, or failure. Our company was on the brink of disaster, but after our latest product came out, we've been doing better than ever before! The increasing tension of looming war between the two countries has brought the entire region to the brink of disaster.
See also: brink, disaster, of

teeter on the brink of (something)

To be very close to doing something or of having some imminent event happen, especially that which is bad or disastrous. The company is still doing business, but ever since the recession hit, they've been teetering on the brink of closing down. The crew are so maddened by the cuts to their pay that everyone is teetering on the brink of mutiny.
See also: brink, of, on, teeter

drive someone to the edge

 and drive someone to the brink
fig to drive someone almost insane; to drive someone close to doing something desperate. Your trouble with the police has driven me to the brink! The next time you are arrested, I will not get you out of jail.
See also: drive, edge

on the brink (of doing something)

Fig. on the verge of doing something; almost to the point of doing something. I was on the brink of selling my car to make ends meet when the tax refund came in the mail.
See also: brink, on

on the brink of something

almost ready to do or experience something Because of competition from television news, a number of newspapers are on the brink of collapse.
See also: brink, of, on

be on the brink of doing something

to be likely to do something very soon The club's manager dismissed reports that he was on the brink of buying Peter Beardsley.
See also: brink, of, on

on the brink of something

if someone or something is on the brink of a situation, that situation is likely to happen soon The country is on the brink of civil war. We are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. She is on the brink of international stardom.
See also: brink, of, on
References in classic literature ?
She went on talking to me with that ease which communicates ease, and, as I listened, a revelation dawned in my mind that I was on the brink of falling in love.
I felt that I tottered upon the brink -- I averted my eyes --
It seems that Perry in his mad flight had plunged over the brink at about the same point as that at which I had stepped over it a short time later.
Upon the brink of the cliff the ape-man turned and looked back into the gulch.
On the brink of some explanation, she seemed to recoil from it.
So she unconsciously led me to the brink of discovery!
A WEARY Traveller who had lain down and fallen asleep on the brink of a deep well was discovered by Dame Fortune.
I felt my first presentiment that you were on the brink of discovery when I found you looking at the fragments, and I fancy I betrayed to you that something of the sort was disturbing me.
Moved from the brink, like some full-breasted swan.
9-12) One day a thirsty Mouse who had escaped the ferret, dangerous foe, set his soft muzzle to the lake's brink and revelled in the sweet water.
Think of this alternative, and sure I am mistaken in my friend if it requires any long deliberation whether he will sink these wretches down for ever, or, by one generous, noble resolution, raise them all from the brink of misery and despair to the highest pitch of human happiness.
She halted the horse at the brink of the slide and glanced down it with a measuring eye.
If you knew how I feel on the brink of calamity at this instant, how afraid I am of myself
It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery; yet with how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.
I took up the stick, and knelt down on the brink of the South Spit.