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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

a very small distance or amount Enemy forces are within a hair's breadth of the city. We were a hair's breadth away from getting caught. (= we were almost caught)
See also: breadth
References in classic literature ?
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.
Consequently, at asymptotic body mass, males had smaller incisor breadths relative to their mass than did females.
Males had significantly wider incisor breadths than did females (asymptotes of 61.
This hypothesis, however, was not supported by incisor breadths of black-tailed deer (O.
Incisor breadth of moose scaled with a projected body mass to [kg.
Breadth of incisors increased with age in both sexes of Alaskan moose, but males attained broader incisor arcades (~6%) than did females at maximal body mass (Fig.
Body-size dimorphism in moose increases mass disproportionately to incisor breadth.
Incisor breadth may not be the most important determinant of bite volume and thereby feeding efficiency in browsing mammals.
Our results are in agreement with data presented by Clutton-Brock and Harvey (1983) for red deer, but differ from other studies, which did not find intersexual differences in incisor breadth relative to body mass.
Incisor breadth and depth were compared for males and females.
Incisor breadth, the distance between the outside surfaces of the incisor form canines, was measured to the nearest 0.