funambulatory

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

funambulatory (not comparable)

  1. Performing in the manner of a tightrope walker.
    • 1728, Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Volume 1, p. 107, under FUNAMBULUS,[1]
      In the Floralia, or Ludi Florales, held under Galba, there were funambulatory Elephants, as we are inform’d by Suetonius.
    • 1868, Review of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Nathan the Wise, translated by Ellen Frothingham, North American Review, Volume 106, Number 219, April 1868, p. 705,[2]
      At a time when Gottsched and his compeers seemed hopelessly infected with Gallomania, and the temple of the Muses had degenerated into a funambulatory platform, on which unwieldy Teutons [] were emulating agile Frenchmen in dancing on the tight-rope of pseudo-classicism, Lessing appeared, and with a dramaturgical scourge of small cords drove the mimes from the stage, shifted the scene, and inaugurated a new era for German art and culture.
    • 1921, Philip Sanford Marden, Sailing South, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Chapter 8, pp. 106-107,[3]
      Men walking the streets suddenly staggered as if drunk, and extended their arms involuntarily, as rope-dancers do. One of them said that after this funambulatory experience he was downright seasick and hadn’t felt well since.
  2. Narrow, like a tightrope.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for funambulatory in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)