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. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]


Nearby words

  1. high-toned,
  2. high-top,
  3. high-up,
  4. high-voltage,
  5. high-water mark,
  6. high-wrought,
  7. highball,
  8. highbinder,
  9. highborn,
  10. highboy

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