tread a fine line between (something)

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tread a fine line between (something)

To navigate or strike a balance between two sides, positions, or approaches to something, especially when trying to avoid one of them. The film treads a fine line between parody and homage. As a new parent, you have to tread a fine line between looking out for your child's welfare and being overprotective.
See also: fine, line, tread
References in periodicals archive ?
Mike Phillips is treading a fine line if he wants to hold onto his Wales jersey," said Jenkins in his column for a Sunday newspaper.
British butterfly record-holder James Hickman believes Bill Sweetenham is treading a fine line with his "brash, bold and blunt" approach to his role as national performance director.
Treading a fine line between funky rock and punk - The Smashing Pumpkins meet Fleetwood Mac - the South London band, who are one of the hottest new acts to emerge in the last couple of years, will release a fourth single to coincide with the tour.
Pallister said: "I think Rio is treading a fine line at the moment and the fans are getting a bit upset.
A veteran of some forty years on stage, he understands as well as anyone that his art is anchored in sexual urgency, but he takes his time, carefully treading a fine line between sophistication and soft-core; his much younger partner Marcela Duran, a raving beauty, adapts her fancy footwork to his pace.