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a cutting edge
An advantage due to superior skill, ability, or resources. You may not be the fastest, but you have a cutting edge—your stamina.
1. noun 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.
2. adjective Technologically advanced. When used as an adjective, the phrase is usually hyphenated. With their cutting-edge instruments, I really think this company is going to revolutionize the field of medicine.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. the most forward part of a trend; the leading part of a trend. (Alludes to the edge of a sword. See also on the cutting edge. See also on the bleeding edge.) Fred's invention put him on the cutting edge of the computer chip business.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
(be at) the cutting ˈedge (of something)(be at) the newest, most advanced stage in the development of something: working at the cutting edge of computer technology
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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