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.
British Dictionary definitions for on 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
Word Origin and History for on tiptoe
Idioms and Phrases with on tiptoe (1 of 2)
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.
Idioms and Phrases with on tiptoe (2 of 2)
see on tiptoe.