fine line

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - fine line

"fine line"

a very small difference between two deceptively similar things, one of which is worse than the other


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - fine line

Two teachers are talking ...

Teacher 1: I am always concerned with how much of what a student tells me in confidence that I should relate to their parents.

Teacher 2: That is a difficult dilemma. We want to keep a student's trust yet parents have a right to know what is going on with their children.

Teacher 1: Yes, we walk a fine line when it comes to sharing information with parents.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - fine line

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: What are you doing?

Friend 2: I am hanging around outside Glenda's apartment waiting for her to get home from work.

Friend 1: And you think that shows persistence or romance or some such?

Friend 2: Sure.

Friend 1: And you don't think that you are crossing the fine line between romance and stalking?

Friend 2: I hadn't thought of it that way.

Test Your Understanding  

fine line - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   2,965   click for frequency by country

fine line - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for fine line.

fine line - Examples:

1)  However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, so be sure you don't overcompensate by ...

2)  I think there is a fine line between advice and instruction. People often seek advice, some want instruction, ...

3)  ... the truth is you will at times have to handle requests. It's a fine line between respecting your audience and becoming a human jukebox, though. 

4)  There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere.

5)  Making a great documentary isn't easy. You have to walk the fine line between being both entertaining and informative.

6)  You teach her to be polite and quiet. There's a fine line between being well-behaved and being a doormat, ...

7)  This takes a bit of finger dexterity, because the fine line between tapping and swiping quickly becomes blurred in the heat of battle.

8)  There's a fine line between winning and losing and a fine line between being good and being great.

9)  She is certainly someone who knows how to walk the fine line between shock value and mass appeal.

10)  There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

11)  This tactic requires balance, though; there is a fine line between promoting relevant content and hash tag spamming. 

12)  But remember - there's a fine line between surprise and gimmick.

13)  It's the fine line that exists between developing and hovering that an effective leader must pay attention to.

14)  ... reality and illusion, the meaning of words and language and explores the fine line between commitment and obsession.

15)  Again, although this may seem petty, it crosses the fine line between friends with benefits and a committed relationship. 

16)  And there's a fine line between being a helpful voice of correction and a troll. 

17)  Remember there's a fine line between schmoozing someone and annoying them.

18)  They are doing their best to walk a fine line between the software developers and the consumers, and juggling a number of different ...

19)  There is a fine line between interpretations of a film and opinions of a film. 

20)  There's a fine line between dark and compelling and horrifying and off-putting.