cling on by (one's) fingertips

(redirected from cling on by their fingertips)

cling on by (one's) fingertips

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingertips to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was clinging on by her fingertips until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're clinging on by their fingertips out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm clinging on by my fingertips every day.
See also: by, cling, fingertip, on
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "First-time buyers are having to resort to 100 per cent mortgages, and higher, to try and cling on by their fingertips to the very bottom of the property ladder.