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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 ?
The group snuck inside the state capitol building early on the morning of March 6, tiptoeing around armed guards as they put the stickers on bathroom doors before going outside and placing them on Boise bus stop benches and drinking fountains.
The timorous beastie clambered up six feet before tiptoeing along a branch to reach the coconut and a prized and hard-earned Easter feast.
After a year of tiptoeing around each other's feelings, Kat and Alfie are finally ready to tie the knot on yet another Christmas Day Slater wedding.
But it was a great time to fall back in love with the magnificent Sonic Youth, whose rumbling, supernaturally sweet NYC Ghosts & Flowers put the tiptoeing efforts of their elders, peers, and offspring to shame.
The dynamic Robert Battle's solo is a mind-blowing combination of electric boogie, balletic virtuosity, dancing on his back, and tiptoeing.
This kind of tiptoeing is particularly bothersome because it implies some explosive sensitivity when in fact, these days, extremely successful artists like Stella haven't usually led especially eventful lives.
True power, or Spirit, emerges through overcoming the unworthy, the disappointing, by giving it adequate expression--not by tiptoeing around it, or, worse, by psychotically denying it through the cult of Taste and Purity, as if Spirit could even reveal itself untainted by human consciousness.