tight·​rope ˈtīt-ˌrōp How to pronounce tightrope (audio)
: a rope or wire stretched taut for acrobats to perform on
: a dangerously precarious situation
usually used in the phrase walk a tightrope

Examples of tightrope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most regulation walks a tightrope of competing interests. Mustafa Suleyman, WIRED, 6 Sep. 2023 While the series' first season saw our protagonist walk a tightrope between his mundane life and his morally ambiguous profession, the upcoming season promises to dig deeper into the psyche of Thomas Lynch. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 22 Aug. 2023 One of the scenes that gets the biggest audience reaction is America Ferrera’s monologue about the tightrope that women have to walk in this society. Kyle Buchanan, New York Times, 25 July 2023 Captain America to the rescue (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) As USC’s linebackers cycled through tackling drills at the start of Wednesday’s practice, Eric Gentry walked the sideline like a tightrope, biding his time. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2023 Like all adaptations, Red, White & Royal Blue walks a tightrope between fidelity and innovation. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Aug. 2023 Navigating the tightrope between past and present is Simon Henderson, who eight years ago became, at 39, the youngest headmaster in the school’s history. Emma Bubola, New York Times, 6 July 2023 Devin Williams got back in the saddle after the roughest outing of his career Tuesday in Minnesota and walked another tightrope to pick up the save. Journal Sentinel, 16 June 2023 Youngkin, who has walked a tightrope with Trump and his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, did not seem to base his endorsements on whether the candidates align themselves closely with Trump. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tightrope was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near tightrope

Cite this Entry

“Tightrope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tightrope. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


tight·​rope -ˌrōp How to pronounce tightrope (audio)
: a rope or wire stretched tight for acrobats to perform on

More from Merriam-Webster on tightrope

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