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touch and go

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noun
a precarious or delicate state of affairs: It was touch and go there for a while during the operation.
quick action or movement: the touch and go of city traffic.
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Origin of touch and go

First recorded in 1645–55

Other definitions for touch and go (2 of 2)

touch-and-go
[ tuhch-uhn-goh ]
/ ˈtʌtʃ ənˈgoʊ /

adjective
risky; precarious: a touch-and-go descent down the mountain.
hasty, sketchy, or desultory.

Origin of touch-and-go

First recorded in 1805–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use touch and go in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for touch and go

touch and go

adjective
(touch-and-go when prenominal) risky or criticala touch-and-go situation
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

Cultural definitions for touch and go

touch and go

Uncertain or precarious: “The doctors told the patient that, even though her disease was in remission, from now on it was touch and go.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with touch and go

touch and go

Extremely uncertain or risky, as in It was touch and go after the surgery; we were not sure he'd survive it, or It was touch and go but they finally gave me a seat on the plane. This idiom implies that a mere touch may cause a calamity. [Early 1800s]

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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