tiptoe

noun
tip·​toe | \ ˈtip-ˌtō How to pronounce tiptoe (audio) , -ˈtō\

Definition of tiptoe

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: the position of being balanced on the balls of the feet and toes with the heels raised usually used with on also : the ends of the toes
on tiptoe
: alert, aroused the contest of skill that puts one on tiptoe to winDeerfield (Wisc.) Independent

tiptoe

verb
tiptoed; tiptoeing

Definition of tiptoe (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to walk or proceed quietly or cautiously on or as if on tiptoe tiptoe around the issue
2 : to stand or raise oneself on tiptoe

tiptoe

adverb

Definition of tiptoe (Entry 3 of 4)

: on or as if on tiptoe

tiptoe

adjective

Definition of tiptoe (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : standing or walking on or as if on tiptoe

Examples of tiptoe in a Sentence

Verb

She tiptoed through the puddle. He tiptoed quietly around the house to avoid waking the children.

Adverb

She had to stand tiptoe to reach the shelf.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As the song approached its end, Brown stood tall on his tiptoes, then shimmied his way down, line by line, bringing all the voices to a whisper. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "Their music was ready to spill out. All they needed was a piano.," 27 July 2019 Now, as the consequences of light pollution tiptoe from the shadows and into the spotlight, cities, regulatory agencies, and conservation groups are agitating for solutions. Babak Tafreshi, National Geographic, "Our nights are getting brighter, and Earth is paying the price," 3 Apr. 2019 The shoe also re-triggers the childhood trauma of seeing Barbie’s foot, frozen in an exaggerated tiptoe extension for eternity. Christine Lennon, WSJ, "Why the Shiny Nude Pump Must Die," 31 May 2018 Women are still held to standards that men on their tiptoes could never reach. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Tiffany Haddish Bombed a Stand-Up Set, But It's Her Apology After That Matters," 2 Jan. 2019 In America’s Game, the end of an era departed on tiptoe. Michael Farber, SI.com, "Mark Moseley, Last of the Straight-On Kickers," 2 July 2018 The room was hot and sweaty and smelled like feet, and Red Bull skydiver Jeff Provenzano was struggling to hold a squat on tiptoe. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "This Pro Skydiver Was Invincible—Until his Heart Stopped Beating Regularly," 22 June 2018 The tiptoe toward retirement carries far greater importance than the typical executive turnover. Philip Elliott, Time, "Billionaire Industrialist David Koch Retires From Business and Politics," 5 June 2018 Many of the women’s turns were executed with the foot on half tiptoe rather than fully on the tips of the toes. New York Times, "In ‘Harlequinade,’ Gestures Dance, and Dances Tell Stories," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Every year there seem to be a few teams tiptoeing over dangerous waters. Conor Orr, SI.com, "The NFL’s Five Most Combustible Teams," 9 July 2019 Find your voice, find the strength to stand up to pressure, then find joy in walking your own path vs. tiptoeing on somebody else’s. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: I’m afraid to tell my parents about the change in our wedding plans," 26 June 2019 Find your voice, find the strength to stand up to pressure, then find joy in walking your own path vs. tiptoeing on somebody else’s. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Adult child worries about disappointing parents," 26 June 2019 Find your voice, find the strength to stand up to pressure, then find joy in walking your own path vs. tiptoeing on somebody else's. Carolyn Hax, oregonlive.com, "Carolyn Hax: Don’t let your fear of disapproval stand between you and life fulfillment," 25 June 2019 Other big brands — such as Aveda, with its refillable compacts — have tiptoed into the environmental arena as well. latimes.com, "The makeup aisle’s ugly side is made of plastic waste," 6 June 2019 Developers are tiptoeing back into the condo market for the first time since before the housing crash a decade ago, switching some project plans from for-rent apartments to for-sale condos. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle construction still booming and won’t end anytime soon," 19 Feb. 2019 Untangling the tumbleweed of twinkle lights was like tiptoeing back in time. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018 The Federal Reserve is shrinking its balance sheet, and policy makers have said repeatedly that the path for U.S. interest rates is still higher, while the European Central Bank is tiptoeing toward an exit from its bond-purchase program. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Rising Rates Threaten a Bull-Market Mantra," 30 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tiptoe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tiptoe

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1661, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adverb

1592, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tiptoe

Last Updated

31 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tiptoe

The first known use of tiptoe was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tiptoe

tiptoe

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tiptoe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to walk with your heels raised up and only your toes touching the ground

tiptoe

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of tiptoe (Entry 2 of 2)

: with your toes touching the ground and your heels raised up

tiptoe

noun
tip·​toe | \ ˈtip-ˌtō How to pronounce tiptoe (audio) \

Kids Definition of tiptoe

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the position of being balanced on the balls of the feet and toes with the heels raised usually used with on He stood on tiptoe.

Kids Definition of tiptoe (Entry 2 of 3)

: on or as if on the balls of the feet and toes with the heels raised I walked tiptoe past the dog.

tiptoe

verb
tiptoed; tiptoeing

Kids Definition of tiptoe (Entry 3 of 3)

: to walk on the balls of the feet and toes with the heels raised

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More from Merriam-Webster on tiptoe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tiptoe

Spanish Central: Translation of tiptoe

Nglish: Translation of tiptoe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tiptoe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tiptoe

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