Are you on the cusp of doing something?


“Cusp” translates as “cúspide” and “umbral”. The word comes from Latin (cuspis). To be on the “cusp of” doing something means that you are at a point of transition.

The word has other uses. A cusp is a fixed point on a mathematical curve. Dentists sometimes repair a broken cusp (una cúspide rota), and we have teeth with cusps, the grinding part of a tooth (to grind = rechinar).

The medical profession speaks of cusps, that is, a folds or flaps (colgajos) of a cardiac valve.

Here are some examples of everyday use of cusp:

  • Great Britain is on the cusp of leaving the European Union (…está a punto de salir …).
  • April marks the cusp of winter and spring (…marca el umbral de invierno a la primavera).
  • Adrian´s dentist is going to repair the broken cusp (…va a arreglar la cúspide rota).
  • Great Britain is on the cusp of a major breakthrough for a Covid cure (…está en la cúspide de un gran avance para una cura…).

So, are you on the cusp of doing something? Probably.

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