high-wire act

Idioms & Phrases

high-wire act

A risky job or operation, as in The university press is not allowed to either make or lose moneythat's a high-wire act. This expression alludes to the aerialist performing on a tightrope stretched high above the ground. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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