walk a tightrope

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

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 ?
I just happen to have the permit to be the first person in the world to walk a tightrope over the Grand Canyon," he said.
It comes a week after announcing that he will walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls on June 15.
AN acrobat from the Chinese province of Uighur has become the first person to walk a tightrope high in the sky between two hot air balloons.
Petit says he'd love to walk a tightrope at Edinburgh Castle or the Forth Bridge "humps".
The circus theme suits the minute virtuosity of these works, which might themselves be said, to walk a tightrope in the act of starting from "almost nothing" and becoming "something.