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dance on the razor's edge

To do something risky or dangerous. Please, you just like him because he's the bad boy who dances on the razor's edge with his motorcycle! I like to dance on the razor's edge sometimes and do things like skydive and bungee jump.
See also: dance, edge, on

Occam's razor

A maxim that the simplest theory should be applied to a situation or experiment first. This concept is named for its ardent defender, 14th-century philosopher William of Occam. I think our initial hypothesis is too complex. Occam's razor would suggest we consider the simplest possible explanation.
See also: razor

on the razor's edge

To the point of doing something risky or dangerous. Please, you just like him because he's the bad boy who dances on the razor's edge with his motorcycle. I like to live on the razor's edge sometimes and go skydiving.
See also: edge, on


1. Literally, very sharp, like a razor. Stand back, that tool is razor-sharp! Please be careful cutting those vegetables with such a razor-sharp knife.
2. Particularly clear, perceptive, and/or intelligent. Victoria may seem quiet, but she always has these razor-sharp insights on the texts we're reading. The think tank is known for razor-sharp analysis of world affairs. A lot of people are funny, but she has razor-sharp wit.

sharp as a razor

1. very sharp. (*Also: as ~.) The penknife is sharp as a razor. The carving knife will have to be as sharp as a razor to cut through this gristle.
2. and sharp as a tack very sharp-witted or intelligent. (*Also: as ~.) The old man's senile, but his wife is as sharp as a razor. Sue configure things out from even the slightest hint. She's as sharp as a tack.
See also: razor, sharp

sharp as a tack

Also, sharp as a razor. Mentally acute. For example, She's very witty-she's sharp as a tack. These similes are also used literally to mean "having a keen cutting edge" and have largely replaced the earlier sharp as a needle or thorn. The first dates from about 1900, the variant from the mid-1800s.
See also: sharp, tack

on a razor's edge

If a situation is on a razor's edge it could change or be decided at any time, often in a way that is dangerous. I knew my life at that moment hung on a razor's edge. In this election Ohio is balanced on a razor's edge between Republicans and Democrats.
See also: edge, on

Occam's razor

the principle that in explaining something no more assumptions should be made than are necessary.
This principle takes its name from the English philosopher and Franciscan friar William of Occam ( c .1285–1349 ): the image is that of the razor cutting away all extraneous assumptions.
See also: razor

(as) sharp as a ˈtack

(American English) intelligent with a quick and lively mind: My grandmother’s 85 but she’s still sharp as tack.
A tack is a kind of small nail or pin.
See also: sharp, tack