tight·​rope | \ ˈtīt-ˌrōp How to pronounce tightrope (audio) \

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 Despite the song’s 7:42 runtime, nary a phrase feels excessive or needless; Aftab’s quivering vocals create and resolve a tightrope tension, offering a blissful and enveloping respite from the year’s chaos. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 26 May 2021 Meanwhile, Applegate gracefully skips across a tightrope, avoiding falling into the stereotypically Samatha Jones persona that has been carved out for her. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, 26 May 2021 Balancing on a length of webbing stretched between two trees, similar to a tightrope walker. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, 23 May 2021 The script, which effectively walks the tightrope between fealty to Gresham’s novel and the censor’s limits, was written by the highly respected Jules Furthman. David Mermelstein, WSJ, 22 May 2021 What happened after the acrobat tried to top the Wallendas’ famous tightrope pyramid stunt? Washington Post, 20 May 2021 Black firsts, from President Barack Obama to CEOs, politicians to sports coaches, art museum directors to university presidents, must always navigate a racial tightrope to not appear too empathetic to the cause of racial justice. Peniel Joseph, CNN, 5 May 2021 The tightrope between respectability and disgrace was not available to them: irreverent daring too easily read as punishable presumption. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2021 This is the tightrope for musicians of color to walk, between the timely context of representation and the timeless anonymity of art. Sameer Gadhia, Rolling Stone, 27 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for tightrope

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The first known use of tightrope was in 1801

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Statistics for tightrope

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tightrope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tightrope. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tightrope



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 How to pronounce tightrope (audio) \

Kids Definition of tightrope

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tightrope

Nglish: Translation of tightrope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tightrope


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