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tiptoe around (someone or something)

To avoid confronting or engaging with a troublesome or undesirable person, problem, situation, issue, etc. It would be humorous if it weren't so sad the way Sarah tiptoes around her wife. The boss just keeps tiptoeing around the fact that we need to hire more staff if we want to remain competitive.
See also: around, tiptoe

on tiptoe(s)

1. Stepping very softly and quietly, especially using only or mostly the frontmost part of one's feet. We had to walk on tiptoes so that my parents didn't hear us leaving the house. Because the film had already begun, I entered the movie theater on tiptoe so as not to disturb anyone around me.
2. Standing on the frontmost part of one's feet to raise one up by a couple of inches. Joe had to stand up on tiptoe to see over the crowd of people. She stood on tiptoes to reach the light switch on the wall.
See also: on

on tiptoe

standing or walking on the front part of the feet (the balls of the feet) with no weight put on the heels. (This is done to gain height or to walk quietly.) I had to stand on tiptoe in order to see over the fence. I came in late and walked on tiptoe so I wouldn't wake anybody up.
See also: on, tiptoe

on tiptoe

1. Eagerly anticipating something, as in The children were on tiptoe before the birthday party. [Late 1500s]
2. Moving stealthily, warily, as in They went down the hall on tiptoe. [Mid-1700s] Both usages transfer standing on one's toes to a particular reason for doing so; def. 2 alludes to moving more quietly in this fashion.
See also: on, tiptoe

on ˈtiptoe/ˈtiptoes

standing or walking on the front part of your foot, with your heels off the ground, in order to make yourself taller or to move very quietly or lightly: She had to stand on tiptoe to reach the top shelf.We crept around on tiptoes so as not to disturb him.
See also: on, tiptoe

on tiptoe

Full of anticipation; eager: The children were on tiptoe before the birthday party.
See also: on, tiptoe
References in periodicals archive ?
Gregory Spear has tiptoed through the landscape and found a major defense stock that could make a lot of noise in your portfolio.
At one point, Stiers intones, ``The next five years would prove to be the most crucial and formative of his entire career''; later, a love affair with an assistant is genteelly tiptoed around, except to note that it inspired ``some of the most inspired and luminous work of his career.
Everybody's sort of tiptoed going into the local exchange business," said CalTech President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Elkins.
Despite running gingerly because of sore toes from a change to a new design, Boldon, a Trinidad native and former NCAA champion from UCLA, tiptoed to victory in 20.
And, exhibiting the kind of self-honesty that has always been a crucial element of his great performances, Hoffman seriously addressed the issue his avid admirers had tiptoed around all night.
The new exhibit, nearly five times larger than the old one, was greeted with caution by the chimps, some of whom tiptoed across the grass and cowered in the corner.
Saturday, he tiptoed to second base and tagged unsuspecting Craig Shipley for the last out.
Instead, they tiptoed into the unknown, offering $5 million a year, a sum that would turn out to be outdated two months later - never mind three years hence - when Colorado center Joe Sakic signed a three-year, $21 million offer sheet with the New York Rangers that the Avalanche matched.
Speaking with startling bluntness on an issue so delicate that diplomats have tiptoed around it for years, House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that he had warned China's top leaders that the United States would intervene militarily if Taiwan was attacked.