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High-wire act

noun phrase

A perilous policy, procedure, etc: Nixon remained skeptical of Kissinger’s high-wire act in Vietnam

[1970s+; fr high wire, an 1880s term for the funambulist’s high tightrope]
A risky job or operation, as in The university press is not allowed to either make or lose money—that’s a high-wire act. This expression alludes to the aerialist performing on a tightrope stretched high above the ground. [ ; mid-1900s ]


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