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

Her Circus collection—featuring tightrope walkers and trapeze artists, among others—is displayed on the atelier’s walls. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "A Milan Ceramicist Brings Her Family’s Artisanal Aesthetic to Life at Home," 4 Oct. 2018 That tightrope act is trickier in Latin America, due to political uncertainty, swings in currency values and lagging infrastructure. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Argentinian Company Wants to Build the Amazon of Latin America," 19 Mar. 2019 In some ways Lagerfeld was ever walking a tightrope between past and present (especially at Chanel, where the ghost of Coco is ever present, fractured into bits of light by the atelier’s famous mirrored staircase). Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "A Celebration of Karl Lagerfeld’s Work in Vogue," 19 Feb. 2019 The summit, which will bring Mattis and [Trump] together with the traditional allies of the United States, illustrates the tightrope the former general has walked since arriving at the Pentagon. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative," 10 July 2018 Ultimately, companies like MoviePass illustrate the perilous tightrope many growing businesses must walk. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "The Entire Economy Is MoviePass Now. Enjoy It While You Can.," 16 May 2018 This tightrope act is the culmination of a long and difficult year for Zuckerberg. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook's annual conference is big test for Mark Zuckerberg," 30 Apr. 2018 This week Democrats are walking a tightrope in negotiations to avoid another government shutdown, with no certainty who might be blamed for failure. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Democrats Face Great Opportunity—and High Peril," 11 Feb. 2019 For a long time, our imperfection, the fact that we might be revealed not to have perfectly walked the tightrope of female respectability, has been an impetus for women to remain silent. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "With Kavanaugh Confirmed, It’s Time to Burn It Down," 6 Oct. 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

26 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for tightrope

The first known use of tightrope was in 1801

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tightrope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tightrope

Spanish Central: Translation of tightrope

Nglish: Translation of tightrope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tightrope

Comments on tightrope

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something valued as if it were money

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