edge

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun the furthest point of something such as a flat object, a signal or a clock pulse

Aviation

Computing

Cricket

  • noun the thinnest part of the blade of the bat, closest to its sides, as opposed to the ‘meat’. Balls coming off the edge of the bat are often deflected onto the stumps or into the cordon of fielders between the wicket-keeper and point. A ‘thin’ edge is one where the ball only just makes contact with the bat as it passes, so that the degree of deflection is slight; with a ‘thick’ edge, the contact area is larger, so the ball comes off the bat at a wider angle. An edge can be further distinguished as a ‘top’, ‘bottom’, ‘inside’, or ‘outside’ edge.
    Citation ‘When he dropped the ball on the off-stump it might straighten, to take the outside edge of the bat, or continue to the inside of your ribs’ (James 1963)
    Citation ‘As the match entered its crucial phase, DeFreitas and Fraser regularly passed the edge of the bat, but at the same time were unable to confine the rate of scoring to under three an over’ (Richard Hutton, Cricketer September 1994)
  • noun a ball deflected off the edge of the bat; a snick
    Citation ‘We kept a third man and square leg to stop the edges going for too many runs’ (Brearley 1982)
    Citation ‘But then Laxman – reprieved when the umpire failed to spot a thin edge – batted with typical majesty to shepherd the lower order’ (Dileep Premachandran, Cricinfo Magazine January 2006)
  • verb to deflect the ball with the edge of the bat, rather than hitting it cleanly
    Citation ‘Often in the past fast bowlers have switched their line of attack from over to round the wicket, in order to slant the ball across a right-handed batsman and get him edging into the slips’ (Scyld Berry, Observer 4 December 1983)
    Citation ‘The last ball of his first over saw mark Waugh pushing firmly but loosely and edging on to his leg stump’ (Mike Selvey, Guardian 7 July 1993)
    Citation ‘Many an innings has been turned around by Gilchrist, but he edged behind after slicing and slamming six fours’ (David Frith, Wisden 2006)

Publishing

  • noun one side of a flat thing; for a book, one of the three sides where the paper has been trimmed
  • noun an advantage over somebody else

Sports

  • verb to move gradually sideways, or make something move in this direction by pushing it
  • verb to strike a ball or other object with the edge of a cricket bat
  • verb to put weight down on the outer or inner side of a ski so that its edge cuts into the snow

Origin & History of “edge”

Edge is probably the main native English representative of the Indo-European base *ak- ‘be sharp or pointed’, which has contributed so many words to the language via Latin and Greek (such as acid, acrid, acute, acne, alacrity, and oxygen). Its Germanic descendant was *ag-, on which was based the noun *agjā, source of German ecke ‘corner’, Swedish egg ‘edge’ (a probable relative of English egg ‘urge’), and English edge. The word’s application to a ‘border’ or ‘boundary’ dates from the late 14th century.
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