Definition of by one's fingertips in US English:

by one's fingertips


  • Only with difficulty; precariously.

    ‘the general was clinging to power by his fingertips’
    • ‘Carter had to cling by his fingertips to victories in Ohio and Mississippi to claim the presidency.’
    • ‘In fact, most of them are clinging on by their fingertips to existence.’
    • ‘All this would be enough to leave him hanging by his fingertips.’
    • ‘United's defence then had to endure a nail-biting few minutes, but hung on by their fingertips.’
    • ‘So I feel like I'm hanging on in there by my fingertips.’
    • ‘Raith were clinging on by their fingertips at the end and home scorer Sheerin earned his pay packet with a series of superb close - calls.’
    • ‘Spring himself was badly rattled by the experience of the all-night recount which saw him hang on by his fingertips.’
    • ‘The current coach is clinging on by his fingertips, and last weekend's Murrayfield defeat was expected, even by most fervent Welsh supporters.’
    • ‘The margin was about right in the end and the two late Welsh tries that came too late to affect the outcome were merited as Scotland spent long periods of the second half hanging on by their fingertips.’
    • ‘We hear constantly from our members about faithful Catholics who are embarrassed to call themselves Catholics, who are hanging onto their membership by their fingertips, or who have actually left the Church.’