one false move


Also found in: Wikipedia.

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

one false move

An action that shows one's defiance to someone's orders. The robber threatened to hurt us if we made one false move.
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
References in classic literature ?
If we make one false move the villain may escape us yet.
I learned that one false move in work can be detrimental to your career, and colleagues may never let you forget your mistakes.
And castle house, which includes architecture from Norman, Tudor, Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian periods, was riddled with deathwatch beetle and the floors were treacherous - one false move and your foot went straight through.
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.
And one false move can send this house of cards tumbling down.
One false move could result in a tragic dress malfunction, revealing more than intended.
It's a wonderful country with no end of surprises - one false move at dinner and you might have to rejig the batting order - and it's hard enough to win a series in India when the going is good.
Opening the batting in Test cricket requires a certain skill and temperament, when one false move could signal the end from the very first ball you face.
Opening the batting in Test cricket requires a certain skill and temperament, where one false move can signal the end from the very first ball you face.
Esty Tomas's friend, Rob, on top of West Tower Pictures: ESTY TOMAS BALANCING high above the Liverpool skyline - with one false move ending in a 460-ft drop - these are the latest vertigo-inducing pictures from daredevil photographer Esty Tomas.
The Jerusalem-based news agency reported that the truck carrying the Zolfaqar missiles held a banner which read "If the leaders of the Zionist regime make one false move, the Islamic republic will destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa" referring to two major Israeli cities.
But one false move by the man known for his gliding footwork, while running a bath for his twin daughters following his Australian Open semi-final loss, means he would have gone a whole season without a title for the first time since 2000.
One false move could turn a risky situation into a death trap.
One false move can be the difference between a gold medal and coming last.