tread/walk a fine/thin line

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walk a thin line

To navigate or strike a balance between two sides, positions, or approaches to something, especially when trying to avoid one of them. The film walks a thin line between parody and homage. As a new parent, you have to walk a thin line between looking out for your child's welfare and being overprotective.
See also: line, thin, walk

tread/walk a fine/thin ˈline

be in a difficult or dangerous situation where you could easily make a mistake: He was walking a fine line between being funny and being rude.
See also: fine, line, thin, tread, walk
References in periodicals archive ?
You must tread a fine line as some strangers are dangerous, but fear of strangers can be close to racism.
R3 Midlands chairman Richard Philpott, a partner at KPMG in the region, said: "Whilst a significant number of businesses continue to tread a fine line between insolvency and survival, these figures are certainly encouraging.
For Munster that means piling players in at the breakdown but they tread a fine line with the ref and the 13-8 about a Leinster penalty opening the scoring looks good.
Like many European countries, France must tread a fine line between cutting the debts that dragged them into the financial crisis and investing in the economy to spur growth.
The Emirates has to tread a fine line between East and West but also has some pretty tough neighbors in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
By playing with the dictates of the Arcadian tradition, Ya'ari's images tread a fine line between reality and escape, offering up a kind of damaged utopia.
Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty play elite bomb disposal officers who tread a fine line between life and death in Iraq.