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 ?
Paignton Zoo Mali, the <B20-year-old orangutan, caught on camera as she walks a tightrope around 20ft from the ground.
In Parallax, MacKenzie orchestrates a sumptuous, stunning collage of moving images and sound that walks a tightrope between control and chance, order and chaos, permanency and change--reminding us of the fragile, ephemeral nature of film and ultimately, of course, of life itself.
The hen scales ladders and walks a tightrope during her daring routine.
On Heathen the legendary artist walks a tightrope between asserting his continued rock relevance and revisiting the more introspective ground of his salad days.