false move

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a/one false move

An action that threatens to worsen an already precarious situation. We didn't call the police because the robber said he'd hurt anyone who made a false move. If we make one false move now, we're liable to lose the house we're bidding on.
See also: false, move, one
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

false move

 and one false move
Fig. [even] a single movement that indicates that one is disobeying an order to remain still or in a nonthreatening posture. The robber threatened to shoot us if we made one false move.
See also: false, move
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

(make) a/one false ˈmove

(informal) in an already dangerous or risky situation, something which makes your position even more dangerous: She’s in a difficult financial situation, and if she makes a false move now she could lose everything.‘One false move and you’re dead,’ he shouted at the bank clerk.
See also: false, move, one
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
If we make one false move the villain may escape us yet."
Director Carl Franklin's breakthrough movie, the tough thriller One False Move, was a really hard act to follow.
Make one false move at the office Christmas party and you could demolish in moments any career progress and goodwill built up throughout the year.
The 37-year-old, who had been in a car crash, spent four weeks in agony unaware one false move could have killed him.
Good job - one false move and that crown'll be round her ankles.
This underlines the fragility of the Championship transfer market, with one false move resulting in a hefty points deduction.
"He told the referee to apply pressure to my neck to keep me absolutely still because one false move could have made the damage even worse.
With every minute vital, one false move could have meant the difference between life and death.
Analysts have warned that the situation is extremely combustible with the risk that one false move could lead to a major confrontation.
One false move and they will make sure Duncan never sees Fred again.
One false move, the plane might explode,' Tugade said in a statement.
One false move or bad day and suddenly it is a snowball effect and the merchant can't make the daily payment, so they are forced to take out another loan and then another until they are drowning in debt.
I learned that one false move in work can be detrimental to your career, and colleagues may never let you forget your mistakes.
I've heard it said that if we all put our worries into one big pile, it wouldn't be long before you were looking to retrieve your own, instead of anyone else's - and with this in mind, one of the Paton's current worries is that one false move and the pumpkin skin can split making it ineligible for the weigh-in.
Paxton previously co-starred with Hanks in Apollo 13 and also starred and co-starred in many unforgettable films such as One False Move, Titanic, Twister and Aliens.