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high-wire act

Slang definitions & phrases for high-wire act

high-wire act

noun phrase

A perilous policy, procedure, etc: Nixon remained skeptical of Kissinger's high-wire act in Vietnam

[1970s+; fr high wire, an 1880s term for the funambulist's high tightrope]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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high-wire act

A risky job or operation, as in The university press is not allowed to either make or lose money—that's a high-wire act. This expression alludes to the aerialist performing on a tightrope stretched high above the ground. [ ; mid-1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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