walk a tightrope

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Pretend to walk a tightrope. Your feet help you balance when you stand, walk, run, and jump.
"I just happen to have the permit to be the first person in the world to walk a tightrope over the Grand Canyon," he said.
It comes a week after announcing that he will walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls on June 15.
AN acrobat from the Chinese province of Uighur has become the first person to walk a tightrope high in the sky between two hot air balloons.
One recent test saw him walk a tightrope - with 25 braziers ablaze beneath him.
Petit says he'd love to walk a tightrope at Edinburgh Castle or the Forth Bridge "humps".
So far this term, we've seen Alex McLeish and Gordon Chisholm walk a tightrope and have speculation about their future in newspapers and on radio and television on a daily basis.
This is probably one of the most risky stimulative solutions because for it to work, the BOJ has to walk a tightrope. It has to be perceived as being sufficiently "irresponsible" to trigger inflationary expectations, but it cannot be so reckless as to permit a complete, destabilizing collapse in the yen.
The circus theme suits the minute virtuosity of these works, which might themselves be said, to walk a tightrope in the act of starting from "almost nothing" and becoming "something." To the labor-intensive precision of her work, which is clearly the result great concentration and manual dexterity, Matei adds an element of healthy mischief by adopting needles as her expressive tools, stuck into the raw canvases like tiny instruments of torture.