nip on (someone's or something's) toes

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nip on (someone's or something's) toes

1. To give someone's or something's toes little ineffectual bites. Their dog kept nipping on my toes whenever I walked through the house. I know some people go crazy for the treatment, but I can't stand the feeling of fish nipping on my toes!
2. By extension, to be very close behind someone or something in rank, score, ability, etc. This underdog team has been nipping on the reigning champions' toes since the very beginning of the match. As technology has improved and become more cost effective, 3D printing has been nipping on the toes of the traditional crafting and manufacturing processes.
See also: nip, on, toe