hang by a thread


: to be in a very dangerous situation or state : to be very close to death, failure, etc.
The patient's life was hanging by a thread.

Examples of hang by a thread in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her hopes for college, and a career as a writer, hang by a thread of false papers. Jesse Green, New York Times, 3 Oct. 2023 Fortner also notes that crystals appear to be missing from the 60-year-old gown, while others hang by a thread. Sam Reed, Glamour, 14 June 2022 The national mood resembles those of the 1930s and 1970s, when radical critiques of America got considerable traction and our national self-confidence often seemed to hang by a thread. The Signers, National Review, 12 May 2022 The extreme distrust shared by all parties to the conflict -- Russia, Ukraine and Western allies -- means this diplomatic breakthrough will hang by a thread. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 20 Feb. 2022 The group’s closure demonstrates that Chinese censors may keep working in perpetuity while the communications tools of activists and people with stories against the grain, like Peng, have their online existence hang by a thread. Rui Zhong, Wired, 5 Dec. 2021 The club will hang by a thread the entire way. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 14 Aug. 2021 The trappings of a functional state — electricity, traffic lights, fuel — hang by a thread. Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2021 As office workers and other employees enter their 12th month of working from home — or sofa, or bed — the future of the dry cleaning industry continues to hang by a thread. NBC News, 12 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hang by a thread.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Hang by a thread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hang%20by%20a%20thread. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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