Definition of funambulist in English:



  • A tightrope walker.

    • ‘Jean Francois Gravelet, aka Charles Blondin, was considered to be one of the greatest funambulists (aerialists/tightrope-walkers) of all time.’
    • ‘Most of the banquets lasted 8-10 hours, with some pauses for a concert or a representation with clowns, circus and funambulists.’
    • ‘Caillois looked to the funambulist for inspiration: he who ‘only succeeds if he is sure enough of himself to rely upon vertigo instead of trying to resist it.’’
    • ‘On August 7, 1974, French funambulist Petit, then 24, performed an astonishing high-wire act on a cable that he and his accomplices had surreptitiously rigged between the north and south towers of the World Trade Center.’
    • ‘Other members of the cast of La Nouba include funambulists, dancers, tumblers, trapeze performers, equilibrists, clowns, actors, acrogymnasts, cyclists, musicians, vocalists and circus artists.’
    • ‘The masked funambulist Ginés de Pasamonte was disguised as the puppeteer Master Pedro?’
    • ‘These acts, which range from trampoline performers to high wire funambulists, provide audience members with edge-of-your-seat excitement and pulse-pounding suspense.’
    • ‘Then, from one generation the next, the Venetians battled the elements like funambulists walking a tight-rope.’
    • ‘Travelling spectacle represents the oldest tradition with showmen, funambulists, conjuring tricks and acrobatics.’
    • ‘This is the first and only edition of the first treatise about acrobats and funambulists.’
    • ‘After all, both men were both expert funambulists, having risen to the rank of Black Belt in the Ringling Brothers School of Aerial Arts.’
    tumbler, gymnast
    View synonyms


Late 18th century: from French funambule or Latin funambulus (from funis ‘rope’ + ambulare ‘to walk’) + -ist.