be pipped to the post

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be pipped to the post

To be defeated or overcome by someone by a very narrow margin or at the final, crucial moment, especially in a race, competition, or athletic event. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, Ireland. The favoured runner held the lead for the majority of the race, but he was pipped to the post by a relatively unknown competitor in the final 100 metres. It appears the current MP has been pipped to the post, being narrowly defeated by the youngest person to ever serve in parliament.
See also: pip, post
References in periodicals archive ?
The 19-year-old, who studies psychology at Birmingham University, was pipped to the post in the 1500m by St Mary's athlete Rose-Anne Galligan, who crossed the line just six one-hundredths of a second ahead of Brooks.
The Post was also shortlisted for Business and Financial Newspaper of the Year, but was pipped to the post for the award by The Newcastle Journal.
However, she was pipped to the post by Elvis impersonator Stewart Duff.