tight·​rope | \ˈtīt-ˌrōp \

Definition of tightrope 

1 : a rope or wire stretched taut for acrobats to perform on

2 : a dangerously precarious situation usually used in the phrase walk a tightrope

Examples of tightrope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Security, access to the kinds of outreach events the orchestra wanted to undertake, and the tightrope-walk of managing the orchestra’s reputation were all up for grabs. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "The Philadelphia Orchestra's tour of Europe and Israel is done: What did we learn?," 15 June 2018 By definition, Encores! must always walk that tightrope. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: A Multiple-Exposure ‘Me and My Girl’ at Encores!," 10 May 2018 When the story lines become more complicated, however, that tightrope walk between challenging artistry and mass appeal becomes more precarious. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "NBC's 'Good Girls' aren't bad enough," 26 Feb. 2018 Mayor Joe Hogsett's administration has sought to walk a tightrope between welcoming scooter operators and asking them for cooperation as the city reviews business practices and safety measures. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Now that electric scooters are all over Indianapolis, they're not going away," 28 June 2018 Roger Miller was widely considered a genius, a songwriter and singer who could could walk a tightrope between humor and devastating poignancy. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Roger Miller tribute pulls three Houston singer-songwriters," 21 June 2018 But Exodus, at least in its preview state, still struggles to walk the tightrope between meaningful challenge and unfair insanity. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Metro Exodus world premiere: Could this be the Half-Life 3 we always wanted?," 13 June 2018 Mountain: Climbers, tightrope walkers, mountain bikers and others set out to conquer the highest peaks in the world in this documentary. San Francisco Chronicle, "New movies: Shailene Woodley finds herself “Adrift”," 29 May 2018 Ryan’s tightrope walk continued after Trump entered the White House. Larry Bartels, Washington Post, "How Paul Ryan lost the Republican Party," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tightrope.' 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 tightrope

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tightrope

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for tightrope

The first known use of tightrope was in 1801

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English Language Learners Definition of tightrope

: a tightly stretched rope or wire high above the ground that a performer walks on, does tricks on, etc., especially in a circus


tight·​rope | \ˈtīt-ˌrōp \

Kids Definition of tightrope

: a rope or wire stretched tight on which an acrobat performs

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