[ tahyt-rohp ]
/ ˈtaɪtˌroʊp /


a rope or wire cable, stretched tight, on which acrobats perform feats of balancing.

verb (used without object), tight·roped, tight·rop·ing.

to walk, move, or proceed on or as on a tightrope: He tightroped through enemy territory.

verb (used with object), tight·roped, tight·rop·ing.

to make (one's way, course, etc.) on or as on a tightrope.

Origin of tightrope

First recorded in 1795–1805; tight + rope
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tightrope

British Dictionary definitions for tightrope


/ (ˈtaɪtˌrəʊp) /


a rope or cable stretched taut above the ground on which acrobats walk or perform balancing feats
to be in a difficult situation that demands careful and considered behaviour
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 tightrope



1801, from tight (adj.) + rope (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with tightrope


see walk a tightrope.

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