at the cutting edge
at the cutting edge
At the forefront of technological developments or advancements. The new company I work for is at the cutting edge of medical science. I think some of their new instruments are going to revolutionize the field of medicine.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cutting edge, at the
Also, on the cutting edge. In the forefront, in a position of greatest advantage or importance. For example, In my youth I was at the cutting edge of medical research, or Our company is on the cutting edge of gene therapy. This metaphoric phrase alludes to the sharp edge of a knife or other cutting tool. [c. 1950]
See also: cutting
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
at the cutting edge of somethingor
on the cutting edge of something
COMMON If something is at the cutting edge of or on the cutting edge of an area of activity, it is one of the most advanced developments in that area. No designer can be at the cutting edge of the fashion industry for more than 15 years. The company has always prided itself on being on the cutting edge of computer technology. Note: You can also simply talk about the cutting edge of a particular area of activity. This is the cutting edge of medicine. Note: You can also use cutting-edge before a noun. These were the men and women doing the cutting-edge research. These are cutting-edge technologies and we must support them.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
cutting edge, at/on the
In the forefront of new developments. The analogy is to the sharp edge of a knife or other tool, which is in front during the act of cutting. The term came into use in the field of scientific and technologic research about 1950 and soon was extended to practically any area of endeavor. For example, in a radio interview on November 14, 1989, Craig Wich, the director of Opera Lab, explained that his organization’s approach to integrating movement, emotion, and singing was at the cutting edge of a new approach to opera (Boston, WCRB). A similar metaphor widely used is the leading edge. Dating from the 1870s and at first describing only the forward edge of a rudder or propeller blade that cuts the water, it was later expanded to mean any device or system that extends an aircraft’s speed, altitude, and range, and eventually transferred to the vanguard of anything—“the leading edge of technology,” for example.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer