tightrope

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walk a tightrope

To do something very carefully. Since there's been talk of layoffs, I've been walking a tightrope at work to prove how valuable I am.
See also: tightrope, walk

be walking a tightrope

To do something very carefully. Since there's been talk of layoffs, I've been walking a tightrope at work to prove how valuable I am.
See also: tightrope, walking

walk a tightrope

Fig. to be in a situation where one must be very cautious. I've been walking a tightrope all day. I need to relax. Our business is about to fail. We've been walking a tightrope for three months.
See also: tightrope, walk

walk a tightrope

Also, be on a tightrope. Take or be on a very precarious course, as in A university press must walk a tightrope to publish scholarly books and still make money , or The general was on a tightrope as to whether he should advance or retreat. This idiom transfers the balancing act performed by tightrope or high-wire acrobats to other concerns. [First half of 1900s]
See also: tightrope, walk

be walking a tightrope

COMMON If someone is walking a tightrope, they are in a difficult situation where a small mistake could cause failure, especially because they are trying to deal with two opposing things or groups of people. He is walking a tightrope between the young activists and the more traditional members within the democracy movement. He knows he is walking a tightrope on just how big his company can grow before the public turns against it. Note: You can call someone's attempt to deal with this type of situation a tightrope walk. The strategy is something of a tightrope walk.
See also: tightrope, walking

tread/walk a ˈtightrope

,

be on a ˈtightrope

be in a situation where you must act very carefully: I’m walking a tightrope at the moment; one more mistake and I might lose my job.
A tightrope is a rope high up in the air that an acrobat walks along at a circus.
See also: tightrope, tread, walk
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to the jumpers, about a dozen tightrope walkers performed acts around the falls from 1859 to the turn of the century.
He said only one tightrope walker, Stephen Peer, fell to his death, and it happened on a late-night dare.
Popular tightrope walkers like the Great Blondin and William Leonard Hunt crossed Niagara Gorge on bicycles, blindfolded, carrying washing machines and even cooking omelets.
Friday night along the two-inch-wide, 13,300-pound rope in an attempt to become the first person ever to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
In this progressive African nation, there at least appears to be a safety net under the tightrope.
Is a "nigga with a pen" just another tightrope walker with a pole?
The late, great James Baldwin was one of our better tightrope walkers.