American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

On a wing and prayer

DEFINITION

Risky business. Hopeless endeavor with a minimal chance of success. If one’s only hope is to pray while flying along, it might be a dire situation. Probably a phrase that came from World War II pilots going into battle, their wing being the airplane. (Compare to Tempting fate or Flirting with disaster.)

 “The old bus continued to break down on the bumpy mountain road. If it makes it to the destination it will be only on a wing and prayer.”

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