walk the line

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walk the line

  1. (idiomatic) To maintain an intermediate position between contrasting choices, opinions, etc.
    • 1914, Julian Hawthorne, The Subterranean Brotherhood, ch. 13:
      I sat at dinner, but satisfied myself with nibbling bread crusts, and witnessing the forlorn and perilous efforts of my friends to walk the line between starvation and acute indigestion.
    • 1992, "It's Twyla Time Again," Newsweek, 27 Jan.:
      I began to walk the line between work and play.
  2. (idiomatic) To behave in an authorized or socially accepted manner, especially as prescribed by law or morality; to exercise self-control.
    • 1956, Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line," Sun Records:
      I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
      I keep my eyes wide open all the time
      I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
      Because you're mine, I walk the line.
  3. To mark or secure a boundary by walking along it.
    • 1914, Robert Frost, "Mending Wall":
      And on a day we meet to walk the line
      And set the wall between us once again.
  4. (idiomatic, US, education) To participate in the procession at a graduation ceremony; to graduate.
    • 2002, Gary Kubota, "Maui girl wins right to forget the dress," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 May (retrieved 12 June 2008):
      A Baldwin High School student will be able to wear slacks to her graduation ceremony, under an order from the Maui School District. . . . "I'm very glad she'll be able to walk the line with her graduating class," Rosaga said.
    • 2006, "Graduation 2006: Valedictorian seeks better life for her family," Valencia County News-Bulletin.com, 13 May (retrieved 12 June 2008):
      Montano's family, including her parents, sons and fiance, Thomas Gallegos, planned to be on hand to see her walk the line and be honored by the UNM-VC Advisory Board, faculty and staff and her fellow associate degree graduates.

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