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Related to treading: treading water

tread on (someone's) toes

To insult, offend, or upset someone, especially by involving oneself in that which is someone else's responsibility. I want to help Johnny out on his project, but I know he's very proud, and I don't want to tread on his toes in any way. Look, you're going to have to tread on a few peoples' toes if you want to get ahead in this business.
See also: on, toe, tread

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Prov. Foolish people usually do not understand when a situation is dangerous, so they are not afraid to do things that would frighten more sensible people. Alan: Bob is too scared to go in and confront the boss, so I'm going to. Jane: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
See also: angel, fear, Fool, rush, tread

step on someone's toes

 and tread on someone's toes 
1. Lit. to step down onto someone's toes, causing pain. Please don't step on my toes as you walk by.
2. Fig. to offend or insult someone, as if causing physical pain. You're sure I won't be stepping on her toes if I talk directly to her supervisor? I didn't mean to tread on your toes.
See also: on, step, toe

tread (up)on someone or something

to walk or step on someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on. Step is more common than tread.) Don't tread on Sam, who is napping under the tree. Please don't tread on the freshly shampooed carpeting on the stairs.
See also: on, tread

step on (somebody's) toes

to upset someone, esp. by getting involved in something that is their responsibility It's hard to make changes in the department without stepping on a lot of toes. He's willing to step on toes to get things done.
See also: on, step, toe

tread carefully

also tread warily
to avoid saying or doing anything that could cause difficulties Some companies continue to tread carefully when doing business on the Internet.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form tread cautiously: You should tread cautiously when discussing financial matters with him.
See also: carefully, tread

tread water

to be active but without making progress or falling farther behind Sales are about the same as last year, and the company is pretty much treading water.
Related vocabulary: mark time
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of tread water (to stay in one place in water by moving your legs quickly)
See also: tread, water

be walking/treading on eggshells

if you are walking on eggshells, you are trying very hard not to upset someone
Usage notes: An eggshell is the hard outside covering of an egg which breaks very easily.
It was like walking on eggshells with my father. The smallest thing would make him angry.
See also: eggshell, on, walking

step/tread on somebody's toes

to say or do something which upsets someone, especially by becoming involved in something which is their responsibility I'd like to make some changes to the working procedures, but I don't want to tread on anyone's toes.
See keep on toes
See also: on, step, toe

tread the boards

to act in the theatre So you're treading the boards these days, Emma. Earning any money?
See also: board, tread

tread water

someone who is treading water is not doing anything to make progress (often in continuous tenses) I'm just treading water until I get an opportunity to try for a job with more responsibility.
See step on toes
See also: tread, water

fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Ignorant or inexperienced individuals get involved in situations that wiser persons would avoid, as in I've never heard this symphony and here I am conducting it-oh well, fools rush in where angels fear to tread , or He tried to mediate their unending argument-fools rush in. This expression, so well known it is sometimes shortened as in the second example, is a quotation from Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism (1709): "No place so sacred from such fops is barr'd ... Nay, fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead; For fools rush in where angels fear to tread."
See also: angel, fear, fool, rush, tread

step on someone's toes

Also, tread on someone's toes. Hurt or offend someone. For example, Be careful what you say about her losing weight; don't step on her toes, or Would I be stepping on someone's toes if I asked to help out with the party arrangements? This metaphoric idiom transfers physical to emotional pain. [Late 1300s]
See also: on, step, toe

tread the boards

Act on the stage, as in Her main ambition was to tread the boards in a big city. This idiom uses boards in the sense of "a theatrical stage," a usage dating from the mid-1700s. It dates from the mid-1800s but was preceded by the idiom tread the stage, first recorded in 1691.
See also: board, tread

tread water

Expend effort that maintains one's status but does not make much progress toward a goal, as in He was just treading water from paycheck to paycheck. This idiom alludes to the term's literal meaning, that is, "keep one's head above water by remaining upright and pumping the legs."
See also: tread, water

tread the boards

To act on the stage: "We who tread the boards are not the only players of parts in this world" (John Fowles).
See also: board, tread

tread water

1. To keep the head above water while in an upright position by pumping the legs.
2. To expend effort but make little or no progress to achievement of a goal or an end.
See also: tread, water
References in periodicals archive ?
The layout was a split-plot design with 3 replicated blocks within each pasture type, which were each split into the 4 treading treatments.
Volumetric soil water content (vSWC) in both the 0-75 and 75-150 mm horizons at the time of the first treading averaged 55 and 58 [m.
Soil on cattle pasture slopes was the least susceptible to compaction under stock treading as indicated by the smallest bulk density, the wettest CWC, and a comparatively flat compaction curve.
WFPs varied from 79% to 86% at the time of the first treading and from 77% to 81% at the second treading, which indicated that soil pores were largely water-filled and, therefore, more susceptible to soil deformation than compaction when trodden.
2]) treading, compared with untrodden soils (U), and total and water-filled porosity at the time of first and second treadings and critical water content of untrodden soil
These proportions were similar at the start of the study for both cattle pasture and sheep pasture, and between treading treatments.
Absolute disturbance during treading was greater (25%) on cattle pasture than sheep pasture, but this difference was non-significant.
All mean net disturbance estimates following the first treading had a positive value, indicating that some degree of 'apparent' compaction occurred as a result of treading.
Random roughness was greater in cattle pasture than sheep pasture prior to the first treading (Table 3), but sheep pasture tended (P [is less than] 0.
random roughness before and after the first treading and the change in roughness
Pasture Treading Before After Difference type(A) treatment(A) treading treading Cattle 18.
There were no significant interactions between pasture type and treading treatments (P [is greater than] 0.
vegetative cover and mean surface area damaged before and after treading by sheep (S) and cattle ([C.
Means within treading events followed by different letters are significantly different (P 0.
Cattle treading reduced vSWC, relative to untrodden soils, for only a brief period following the second cattle treading.