verb (used without object), tip·toed, tip·toe·ing.
- on the tips of one's toes.
- expectant; eager: With Christmas coming, the children were on tiptoe.
- stealthily; cautiously: The concert had already begun, so he entered the back of the hall on tiptoe.
Origin of tiptoe
verb -toes, -toeing or -toed (intr)
- on the tips of the toes or on the ball of the foot and the toes
- eagerly anticipating something
- stealthily or silently
Eagerly anticipating something, as in The children were on tiptoe before the birthday party. [Late 1500s]
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.
see on tiptoe.