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by a hair's breadth

By an extremely short distance or slim margin of time. They're just about to close the gates! It looks like we made the flight by a hair's breadth. The race was neck and neck till the very end, but Sally won it by a hair's breadth.
See also: breadth

hair's breadth

A very small amount or short length. After wandering around the forest for an hour thinking we were lost, it turned out that we were only a hair's breadth away from our campsite. The seal is air-tight—there's not a hair's breadth between the door and the frame.
See also: breadth

a hair's breadth

1. You use a hair's breadth to talk about the smallest possible amount or degree of something. The town suffered heavy bombing, coming within a hair's breadth of being destroyed altogether. He missed the two-minute barrier by a hair's breadth, finishing in 2.00.04 and setting a new British record. The situation was a hair's breadth away from being comical.
2. You use a hair's breadth to talk about the smallest possible distance. A stone flew past him, missing him by a hair's breadth. His head was a hair's breadth away from the car roof.
See also: breadth

the length and breadth of something

COMMON If someone does something or something happens the length and breadth of a place, it is done or happens everywhere in that place. The group built their reputation by playing shows across the length and breadth of North America. She has travelled the length and breadth of Britain.
See also: and, breadth, length, of, something

a hair's breadth

a very small amount or margin.
See also: breadth

the length and breadth of

throughout the whole of (a place).
See also: and, breadth, length, of

a ˈhair’s breadth

a very small distance or amount: He escaped death by a hair’s breadth. If the other car had been going any faster, he would certainly have been killed.She was within a hair’s breadth of winning.
Breadth means width.
See also: breadth

the length and ˈbreadth of something

everywhere in an area: I’ve travelled the length and breadth of Europe, but I’ve never seen such beautiful scenery as here.
See also: and, breadth, length, of, something
References in classic literature ?
That Space, as our mathematicians have it, is spoken of as having three dimensions, which one may call Length, Breadth, and Thickness, and is always definable by reference to three planes, each at right angles to the others.
His immense breadth, his stern composed appearance, and the mode in which he handled his shield and his lance, were enough in themselves to convince the thousands of critical spectators that he was a dangerous opponent.
Often, however, an author introduces a Secondary Action merely for the sake of variety or to increase the breadth of his picture--in order to present a whole section of society instead of one narrow stratum or group.
So, probably, the depth of the ocean will be found to be very inconsiderable compared with its breadth.
Having noticed that the number indicating the greatest depth was apparently in the centre of the map, I laid a rule on the map lengthwise, and then breadthwise, and found, to my surprise, that the line of greatest length intersected the line of greatest breadth exactly at the point of greatest depth, notwithstanding that the middle is so nearly level, the outline of the pond far from regular, and the extreme length and breadth were got by measuring into the coves; and I said to myself, Who knows but this hint would conduct to the deepest part of the ocean as well as of a pond or puddle?
Given, then, the length and breadth of the cove, and the character of the surrounding shore, and you have almost elements enough to make out a formula for all cases.
In order to see how nearly I could guess, with this experience, at the deepest point in a pond, by observing the outlines of a surface and the character of its shores alone, I made a plan of White Pond, which contains about forty-one acres, and, like this, has no island in it, nor any visible inlet or outlet; and as the line of greatest breadth fell very near the line of least breadth, where two opposite capes approached each other and two opposite bays receded, I ventured to mark a point a short distance from the latter line, but still on the line of greatest length, as the deepest.
Such a rule of the two diameters not only guides us toward the sun in the system and the heart in man, but draws lines through the length and breadth of the aggregate of a man's particular daily behaviors and waves of life into his coves and inlets, and where they intersect will be the height or depth of his character.
Thus, the greater the patent breadth, the greater the probability that the incumbent will receive monopoly profits, since the less likely it is that the entrant will succeed in generating a non-infringing process.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs tend to open a business to fulfill a lifelong dream or to follow a particular lifestyle; they contribute to a region's entrepreneurial breadth by increasing the number of firms.
Barbour, in contrast, demonstrates the sheer breadth and richness of the period's religious stocktaking, and he shows how a surprising array of writers were committed to probing the circumstances that comprised and sometimes compromised the Caroline religious experience.
This expanded sales, marketing, and development relationship brings the breadth of Adobe's document services together with the cross functional scalability of IBM software offerings to customers worldwide.
Such breadth makes it possible for the author to demonstrate how a central motif captures new ideas.
This, of course, raises the question of the breadth of the appeal of Sabbatarianism in the nineteenth century.
We measured the breadth (width) and the depth (protrusion) of the incisor arcade of moose, age was determined by counting cementum annuli of incisors.