double-edged sword(redirected from a double edged sword)
Something that can be both beneficial and problematic. Intelligence is a double-edged sword. Things may come easy to you, but people will always expect more. This meeting is a double-edged sword—it's a great chance to get the firm wider exposure, but we're just not prepared enough for it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a double-edged swordor
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
An argument, compliment, or other statement that cuts either way, that is, has a double meaning. “‘Your Delphic sword,’ the panther then replied, ‘is double-edged and cuts on either side,’” wrote John Dryden (The Hind and the Panther, 1686). See also left-handed compliment.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer