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on tiptoe

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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.

QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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