The brink of something is the very edge of it. If you want to give your mom a good scare, stand on the brink of a steep cliff and slowly lean forward.

The noun brink describes the edge of a steep drop-off or slope, or the edge of a boundary marking where something begins, like the brink of a pond. Brink also describes the figurative edge or start of something. Nations on the brink of war are very close to mobilizing troops; if you are on the brink of losing your temper, you might try walking away or slowly counting to ten.

Definitions of brink
  1. noun
    the edge of a steep place
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    type of:
    border, edge
    the boundary of a surface
  2. noun
    the limit beyond which something happens or changes
    “on the brink of bankruptcy”
    synonyms: cusp, verge
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    the brink of a dangerous or potentially disastrous situation
    type of:
    bound, boundary, limit
    the greatest possible degree of something
  3. noun
    a region marking a boundary
    synonyms: threshold, verge
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    type of:
    bound, boundary, edge
    a line determining the limits of an area
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