a false move

a false move

An action that shows one's defiance to someone's orders. The robber threatened to hurt us if we made a false move.
See also: false, move

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

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

(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