come within a whisker of something

come within a whisker of something

COMMON If you come within a whisker of doing something, you almost do it. He came within a whisker of scoring the most spectacular goal. Meanwhile, Guccione came within a whisker of losing his mansion. Note: You can also say that someone is within a whisker of doing something. The two firms are within a whisker of agreeing a deal. Yet Miller had been within a whisker of being sacked.

be, come, etc. within a whisker of something/of doing something

(British English) almost do something: They came within a whisker of being killed.
See also: of, something, whisker, within