walk a tightrope

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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 ?
Some might describe such a feat as like walking a tightrope, but not Fitzgerald.
Walking a Tightrope: Aboriginal People and Their Representations.
Walking a Tightrope constitutes a remarkably unified presentation for a book of readings.
Walking a Tightrope begins with a poem, "Goodbye, Wild Indian," by Lenore Keeship-Tobias, in which she expresses the hope that negative stereotypes of Canada's Indigenous people will soon vanish.
The first two chapters of Walking a Tightrope by Drew Hayden Taylor and Philip Bellfy set the stage, albeit in a light-hearted, non-academic manner.
TORE ANDRE FLO reckons Rangers are walking a tightrope as they bid to keep their title dreams alive.
Four white canvases lunging in a row tracked the progression, from left to right, of an acrobat walking a tightrope. The figure was "drawn" by passing black thread through the eyes of needles stuck through and protruding.
Although Man begins by evoking a white-clad ghost in a graveyard, he later becomes a fig-leafed faun dodging a shaft of light, a monkey or an idiot in a suit walking a tightrope, then a liquid, almost jazzy dancer.
In "Man on Wire" Petit retraces the first time he saw the design for the World Trade Center in a copy of Paris Match magazine, and the intricately laid plans that culminated in his walking a tightrope between the twin towers in 1974.
Gould is aware he is walking a tightrope, saying: "Everybody knows the situation.
If that means we are walking a tightrope with certain referees, so be it."
Cooper said: "We know we are walking a tightrope at Oxford.