by the skin of (one's) teeth

(redirected from by the skin of their teeth)

by the skin of (one's) teeth

Barely. Often used to describe something that almost didn't happen. Oh man, my car wouldn't start this morning—I just made it here by the skin of my teeth!
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of one's teeth

Fig. just barely. (By an amount equal to the thickness of the (imaginary) skin on one's teeth.) I got through calculus class by the skin of my teeth. I got to the airport a few minutes late and missed the plane by the skin of my teeth. Lloyd escaped from the burning building by the skin of his teeth.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of one's teeth

Just barely, very narrowly, as in Doug passed the exam by the skin of his teeth. A related term appears in the Bible (Job 19:20), where Job says, "I am escaped with the skin of my teeth," presumably meaning he got away with nothing at all. Today the phrase using by is used most often to describe a narrow escape. [c. 1600] Also see squeak through.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of your teeth

COMMON If you do something by the skin of your teeth, you just manage to do it but very nearly fail. In the men's First Division, the champions survived by the skin of their teeth. She was there when the fighting started and escaped by the skin of her teeth. Note: This expression seems to come from the book of Job in the Bible, although its meaning has completely changed. Job loses everything and then says `I am escaped with the skin of my teeth' (Job 19:20), meaning that the skin of his teeth is all he has left.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of your teeth

by a very narrow margin; only just.
See also: of, skin, teeth

do something by the ˌskin of your ˈteeth

(informal) only just do something; nearly fail to do something: We thought we’d miss the plane, but in the end we caught it by the skin of our teeth.
See also: of, skin, something, teeth

by the skin of (one's) teeth

By the smallest margin.
See also: of, skin, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
They had more points in both of those seasons and still went on to struggle, only surviving by the skin of their teeth in the final games of the season.
When a 21-year-old is able to do that - after four years of modest footballing achievement, and playing for a club who only escaped the drop by the skin of their teeth - is it any wonder that the English public wonders why there is no desire and drive among our young players.
Even if he had steered United through by the skin of their teeth to the Capital One Cup final, I don't think it would have created a big buzz compared to a side like Sunderland getting there.
RICHARD Shepherd, 45, and his family will see Andy Murray's quarter-final match - by the skin of their teeth.
HOLMFIRTH just escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last year - although they would have been nearer to promotion had they not been rather harshly deducted 12 points by the League for playing a 'de-registered' player last year.
Beddau somehow escaped relegation for three seasons in a row - last season by the skin of their teeth, but they have had great success thus far in this campaign.
MARTIN O'Neill was relieved to progress to the FA Cup fifth round after admitting Villa held on by the skin of their teeth against plucky Brighton.
9 MUNSTER won Heineken Cup Pool One by the skin of their teeth at Thomond Park last night to earn a home quarter-final in April.
CAMEROON, the four-time African champions, moved into the last eight of the competition by the skin of their teeth yesterday - and were promptly eased by unimpressed layers, writes Steve Davies.
Cardiff avoided extra-time by the skin of their teeth against 10-man Leyton Orient, former Aston Villa midfielder Peter Whittingham scoring in stoppage-time to seal a 1-0 win.
A range of seats once considered rock solid are now highly marginal, with some AMs only holding on by the skin of their teeth.
HOLDERS Talbot survived by the skin of their teeth as Gavin Collins headed a late equaliser in a thriller.
However, they progressed by the skin of their teeth as Cameroon, needing only to match Ivory Coast's result to qualify in their place, were held 1-1 at home by Egypt with Pierre Wome missing a penalty in stoppage time.
After surviving relegation by the skin of their teeth on the final day of the 2004 season, Adders will look for an improved performance this summer in what is sure to be a very competitive Warwickshire Premier League.
The Hartlepool by-election will be a close run race with the possibility of Labour hanging on by the skin of their teeth, Charles Kennedy admitted last night.