tightrope


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be walking a tightrope

To be doing something very carefully. Since there's been talk of layoffs, I've been walking a tightrope at work to prove how valuable I am.
See also: tightrope, walking

walk a tightrope

To do something that requires extreme care and precision; to navigate a situation that allows very little or no error. Since there's been talk of layoffs, I've been walking a tightrope at work to prove how valuable I am.
See also: tightrope, walk
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

be walking a tightrope

COMMON If someone is walking a tightrope, they are in a difficult situation where a small mistake could cause failure, especially because they are trying to deal with two opposing things or groups of people. He is walking a tightrope between the young activists and the more traditional members within the democracy movement. He knows he is walking a tightrope on just how big his company can grow before the public turns against it. Note: You can call someone's attempt to deal with this type of situation a tightrope walk. The strategy is something of a tightrope walk.
See also: tightrope, walking
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
One of Russia's current top tightrope walkers, Rasul Abakarov, is of Dagestani origin though he grew up in Saint Petersburg.
Tightrope debuted last September as part of the Kyiv Biennial.
Top tightrope walkers also sometimes use heavy poles which improve muscle tone in the arms.
In 1974, Petit, now 63, broke into the Twin Towers and tightrope walked between them, approximately 1,368 ft above the ground.
Nik, 34, said that this latest event will be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to walk at such a great height as well as a chance to honour his great grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda, who died after falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978.
Wallenda, a charming and generous performer who won legions of admirers during his stay in Niagara Falls before his enormously successful and historic tightrope walk, will have an even bigger challenge on Sunday when he attempts to walk the quarter mile across the Grand Canyon on a steel cable without a harness.
AGALE was blowing but the tightrope walker insisted on performing his death-defying feats, ignoring pleas to come down.
Summary: Stuntman to tightrope walk the Grand Canyon.
This is what aerialist Nik Wallenda might look like when he undertakes a tightrope walk near the Grand Canyon.
London, July 8( ANI ): Daredevil wirewalker Jay Cochrane walked 581feet up in the air on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls in the first of the 81walks across a tightrope to achieve a world record.
A DAREDEVIL has become the first person to walk on a tightrope 1,800 feet across the brink of Niagara Falls.
A daredevil was flying high yesterday after walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
Perhaps that's why I think of IT storage pros a little bit as tightrope walkers, balancing the need to drive projects to fruition with the budget, operational and IT demands they face day to day.
Most of us live our lives like we're on a tightrope, teetering between giving our all at work, giving our all to family, getting just enough sleep, and then doing it again the next day.