Meaning of hang by a thread in English:

hang by a thread


  • Be in a highly precarious state.

    ‘their lives were hanging by a thread’
    • ‘But whatever had triggered it - impulsiveness, buttressing his position, or to soothe whatever remained of his conscience - his position hung by a thread.’
    • ‘Now Louis is fully recovered, and it is hard to believe looking at this happy little boy that his life once hung by a thread.’
    • ‘The tax authorities must be aware that York City's future hangs by a thread.’
    • ‘As things stand, a season that began with the usual high hopes of success in Europe still hangs by a thread.’
    • ‘Mountain gorilla populations are extremely tenuous and chimpanzees are hanging by a thread.’
    • ‘With their titles hopes hanging by a thread - they trail leaders Alfreton by 12 points, but with four games in hand - every victory has added importance for Pickering.’
    • ‘Many jobs are hanging by a thread with the Small Firms Association warning yesterday that thousands of jobs are at risk this year.’
    • ‘Their sanity is obviously hanging by a thread as it is.’
    • ‘Several of those species hang by a thread, with less than a few hundred individuals surviving.’
    • ‘So the legendary highwayman's fame may hang by a thread: a chance story told to a boy who remembered it and grew up to become a novelist.’
    uncertain, insecure, unreliable, unsure, unpredictable, undependable, risky, hazardous, dangerous, unsafe, hanging by a thread, hanging in the balance, perilous, treacherous, on a slippery slope, on thin ice, touch-and-go, built on sand, doubtful, dubious, delicate, tricky, problematic