double-edged sword

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

a double-edged sword

or

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

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
References in classic literature ?
Violent without craftiness, and furious without malice, one may imagine him seated masterfully with a double-edged sword on his knees upon the painted and gilt clouds of the sunset, bowing his shock head of golden locks, a flaming beard over his breast, imposing, colossal, mighty-limbed, with a thundering voice, distended cheeks and fierce blue eyes, urging the speed of his gales.
And the royal master of high latitudes sighs mightily, with the sinking sun upon his breast and the double-edged sword upon his knees, as if wearied by the innumerable centuries of a strenuous rule and saddened by the unchangeable aspect of the ocean under his feet - by the endless vista of future ages where the work of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind shall go on and on till his realm of living waters becomes a frozen and motionless ocean.
In his kingly way he has taken but little account of lives sacrificed to his impulsive policy; he is a king with a double-edged sword bared in his right hand.
Protectionism is a double-edged sword that will harm both sides, China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump signed into law a steep tariff on imported solarpanels.
SURVIVORS of the Aberfan disaster said the tragedy's anniversary was something of a double-edged sword 50 years to the day a mountain of liquefied coal crashed into Pantglas Junior School killing 116 children and 28 adults.
Ahead of the final episode of his Killer Women documentary series tomorrow on ITV, Piers said: "Susanna has recently read all my books and that can be a double-edged sword.
Baghdad curfew suspension is double-edged sword for citizens
FDI is often a double-edged sword, and the government needs to handle it, dexterously.
At the same time, it is a double-edged sword, because then the issue of micro-financing of the population is raised.
Heavy household spending in Canada is a double-edged sword for its central bank, providing a welcome stimulus to the economy, but putting policy makers on the alert as consumer debt reaches perilous levels.
The private pension funds say that this measure presents a double-edged sword.
SILVERWOOD, Sarah The Double-Edged Sword Gollancz 2010 337pp $22.
The Government's decision to limit access to the commercial register is a double-edged sword.
Besim Hoda from the Association of NLA fighters said that he has no information about the recent events but emphasized that the newly created situation presents a double-edged sword.