Hang by a thread



Also, hang by a hair. Be in a risky or unstable situation, as in His promotion was hanging by a thread, or With the lead actor sick, the success of our play hung by a hair. This expression, already proverbial in the early 1500s, alludes to Damocles, who vexed King Dionysius with constant flattery. The king invited him to a banquet where Damocles found himself seated under a naked sword suspended by a single hair, symbolizing his insecure position at the court.

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    [hang-dawg, -dog] /ˈhæŋˌdɔg, -ˌdɒg/ adjective 1. browbeaten; defeated; intimidated; abject: He always went about with a hangdog look. 2. shamefaced; guilty: He sneaked out of the room with a hangdog expression. 3. suitable to a degraded or contemptible person; sneaky; furtive. noun 4. Archaic. a degraded, contemptible person. /ˈhæŋˌdɒɡ/ adjective 1. downcast, furtive, or guilty […]

  • Hang-dog

    [hang-dawg, -dog] /ˈhæŋˌdɔg, -ˌdɒg/ adjective 1. browbeaten; defeated; intimidated; abject: He always went about with a hangdog look. 2. shamefaced; guilty: He sneaked out of the room with a hangdog expression. 3. suitable to a degraded or contemptible person; sneaky; furtive. noun 4. Archaic. a degraded, contemptible person. /ˈhæŋˌdɒɡ/ adjective 1. downcast, furtive, or guilty […]



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