on tiptoe


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on tiptoe

standing or walking on the front part of the feet (the balls of the feet) with no weight put on the heels. (This is done to gain height or to walk quietly.) I had to stand on tiptoe in order to see over the fence. I came in late and walked on tiptoe so I wouldn't wake anybody up.
See also: on, tiptoe

on tiptoe

1. Eagerly anticipating something, as in The children were on tiptoe before the birthday party. [Late 1500s]
2. Moving stealthily, warily, as in They went down the hall on tiptoe. [Mid-1700s] Both usages transfer standing on one's toes to a particular reason for doing so; def. 2 alludes to moving more quietly in this fashion.
See also: on, tiptoe

on tiptoe

Full of anticipation; eager: The children were on tiptoe before the birthday party.
See also: on, tiptoe
References in classic literature ?
First came quick, funny little steps, like a man walking on tiptoe for a wager; then came slow, careless, creaking steps, as of a big man walking about with a cigar.
And thus exhorting myself to action, and recognising how great was the risk I ran in lingering, I started down the little path leading to the arbour and the principal part of the garden, going, it is true, on tiptoe, and very much frightened by the rustling of my petticoats, but determined to see what I had come to see and not to be scared away by phantoms.
My grandfather had had it made, and, like other buildings, it enjoyed a period of prosperity before being left to the ravages of slugs and children, when he came down every afternoon in summer and drank his coffee there and read his Kreuzzeitung and dozed, while the rest of us went about on tiptoe, and only the birds dared sing.
And, advancing on tiptoe, he lifted up a curtain that covered the glass-door, and looked in.
We approached it stealthily -- on tiptoe and at half-breath -- for that is the way one's feeling makes him do, at such a time.
Which side he was on, I couldn't make out, for he seemed to me to be grinding the whole place in a mill; I only know that when I stole out on tiptoe, he was not on the side of the bench; for, he was making the legs of the old gentleman who presided, quite convulsive under the table, by his denunciations of his conduct as the representative of British law and justice in that chair that day.
She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.
D'Artagnan raised himself on tiptoe, and as the carriage passed, saw Harrison at one window and Mordaunt at the other.
Blushing as red as any rose that she should have intruded into a gentleman's bedchamber, and for such a purpose, too, she was about to make her escape on tiptoe.
Bruno raised himself on tiptoe, till his lips were on a level with Sylvie's ear.
She drew the blinds so that the light should not offend his eyes, and since he had closed them already went out of the room on tiptoe.
It was the owner of the field, who was coming on tiptoes to see if, by chance, he had caught the Weasels which had been eating his chickens.
You watch her cruise into the home-straight and get on tiptoe ready to shout her home.
Bush, in turn, stood on tiptoe to kiss the 6-foot-6 Adams on the cheek.
I turn thirty-two pirouettes on tiptoe without dropping my foot.