Idioms

    on tiptoe,
    1. on the tips of one's toes.
    2. expectant; eager: With Christmas coming, the children were on tiptoe.
    3. stealthily; cautiously: The concert had already begun, so he entered the back of the hall on tiptoe.

Origin of tiptoe

1350–1400; Middle English tiptoon (plural noun). See tip1, toe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on tiptoe

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

Word Origin and History for on tiptoe

tiptoe


n.

mid-15c., from tip (n.) + toe. As a verb from 1630s. Related: Tiptoes (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with on tiptoe (1 of 2)

on tiptoe


1

Eagerly anticipating something, as in The children were on tiptoe before the birthday party. [Late 1500s]

2

Moving stealthily, warily, as in They went down the hall on tiptoe. [Mid-1700s] Both usages transfer standing on one's toes to a particular reason for doing so; def. 2 alludes to moving more quietly in this fashion.

Idioms and Phrases with on tiptoe (2 of 2)

tiptoe


see on tiptoe.

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