high-wire act


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high-wire act

An especially risky or treacherous job, plan, action, or operation. Alludes to an aerialist performance on a tightrope. Because of the nation's deeply divided political beliefs, creating a tax reform deal that everyone is happy with has been a high-wire act for the president.
See also: act

high-wire act

A risky job or operation, as in The university press is not allowed to either make or lose money-that's a high-wire act . This expression alludes to the aerialist performing on a tightrope stretched high above the ground. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: act

high-wire act

Slang
A risky job or operation.
See also: act
References in periodicals archive ?
Organisers are hoping for fine weather for the main event, which will feature high-wire acts above St George's Square.
There's always my cross-dressing high-wire act but if that doesn't pan out I've thought I could always give PR a spin.
The sky is obviously the limit for Raelle Myrick-Hodges (upper left box)--as the dancer on a tightrope suggests, she sees the challenge of revivifying Brava as "a high-wire act with no net." Michael Shepperd (center box), who aspires to make the scrappy, 64-seat Celebration "a state-of-the-art, completely green theatre," includes a consoling "chilled bottle of Ketel One Vodka" in his psychic landscape.
It's a high-wire act, but one that Terrapin largely pulls off.
"Didn't you know that the clowns don't come out during the high-wire act?" - Eamon Gilmore responds to heckling by Mr Lenihan.
One of the equine bit-part players in the Crimestoppers Handicap was, unbeknown to him, featuring in a high-wire act that might have had irreversible consequences.
CULTURE Secretary Tessa Jowell's husband David Mills is a lawyer who specialises in that tricky financial high-wire act, international tax avoidance.
Winning support for the Government's controversial school reforms is proving a "high-wire act" amid growing opposition from Labour MPs, Tony Blair has admitted.
Luis Serrano flaunted elevation and quick impulses in his high-wire act, and with some success Carlos Guerra pitched bravura.
That makes McWhorter's own brave stand a high-wire act. The barrier facing young blacks that he hopes to reveal isn't just white hostility but a larger vacuity, driven not by the left but by the quarterly bottom line and the marketing division.
TODAY'S CORPORATE HIGH-WIRE ACT MEANS ANTICIPATING AND ADAPTING TO FAST-CHANGING MARKETS AND CUSTOMER NEEDS.
For the open loftlike living-dining room, Luchetti designed the glass and steel coffee and end tables, a gray granite and steel Parsons table behind the long sofa, and a high-wire act of suspended halogen lamps.
Fellow American Adam Rippon finished seventh without attempting a quad in what was otherwise a high-wire act for the men.
At her party's manifesto launch, she performed her daredevil high-wire act by saying in one breath that she'd love nothing more than a second shot at independence before explaining in the next breath why that's not going to happen anytime soon.