the sharp end

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the sharp end

The most challenging or difficult part of an activity. This repair is pretty simple until we get to the sharp end—replacing the battery. The sharp end of this merger will be negotiating the payouts to the executives.
See also: end, sharp

the sharp end

mainly BRITISH
COMMON The sharp end of an activity or type of work is the part where the most difficulties or the hardest work are experienced. Crime prevention is now the sharp end of policing. Still only 28, Smith has been at the sharp end of activism for almost a decade. Note: In sailors' slang, the bow or front end of a ship is known as `the sharp end'.
See also: end, sharp