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[tahyt-rohp] /ˈtaɪtˌroʊp/
a rope or wire cable, stretched tight, on which acrobats perform feats of balancing.
verb (used without object), tightroped, tightroping.
to walk, move, or proceed on or as on a tightrope:
He tightroped through enemy territory.
verb (used with object), tightroped, tightroping.
to make (one's way, course, etc.) on or as on a tightrope.
Origin of tightrope
First recorded in 1795-1805; tight + rope Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tightrope
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Bein' married that a-way, I takes it, is somethin' like walkin' a tightrope.

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • When a performer falls from the tightrope, who remembers all the times he has not failed?

    Jacqueline, Complete (Mme. Blanc) Th. Bentzon
  • Should you like to be a juggler, a tightrope walker, or a clown?

  • Father Bright felt as though he had been walking a tightrope for hours.

    The Eyes Have It Gordon Randall Garrett
  • There were washed out trails where the ride would be in the nature of tightrope walking.

    The Code of the Mountains Charles Neville Buck
British Dictionary definitions for tightrope


a rope or cable stretched taut above the ground on which acrobats walk or perform balancing feats
to be in a difficult situation that demands careful and considered behaviour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tightrope

1801, from tight (adj.) + rope (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with tightrope


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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