a double-edged sword

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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.
See also: sword
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
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.
See also: sword
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Trump pressure on the Fed to cool it on tightening is a two-edged sword, since it could backfire, though unlikely to alter the path of rates for now.
Aleksandra Mitevska comments for Utrinski vesnik that the boycott of the Parliament is a two-edged sword for the opposition, which chose the firmest method for political battle, but the same goes for the government--which is most responsible in providing a climate for a sound political competition.
Andersson's findings are a reminder that pharmacotherapy is a two-edged sword. They also underscore that, in medicine, the decision of whether or not to use antipsychotics in the elderly is one that must always be made in a careful and considered way.
Technology is a two-edged sword. It can be our best friend or our worst enemy; it cuts both ways.
For stroke victims, tPA "is a two-edged sword," Lipton says.
The use of qualitative sources in family history is a two-edged sword that is best wielded very cautiously and -- when possible -- in combination with other weapons in the historian's arsenal.
What is clear is that humanity's intelligence has been a two-edged sword and that technology will not redeem us unless we make sure it is humane.
He was a perfectionist onstage, but this proved to be a two-edged sword that forced him to demand the absolutely highest standards of himself and others, and sometimes incapacitated him with fear, deep fear of criticism and failure.
Finally, taxpayers should not overlook that this is a two-edged sword. The Service also has the ability to redetermine the amount of an NOL sustained in a prior year, and thus could reduce the amount of an NOL deduction claimed on the current-year return, as long as that return is still open under the SOL.