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Related to whisker: Cat whisker
Something or someone that is highly enjoyable, desirable, or impressive, especially in a fancy or elaborate way. Tom's new Cadillac is really the cat's whiskers! Boy, that singer last night was the cat's whiskers, wasn't she?
be the cat's whiskers
To be highly enjoyable, desirable, or impressive, especially in a fancy or elaborate way. Tom's new Cadillac is really the cat's whiskers! Boy, that singer last night was the cat's whiskers, wasn't she?
by a hair
By an extremely short or slim margin (of distance, time, or another measure). They're just about to close the gates! It looks like we made the flight by a hair. The race was neck and neck till the very end, but Sally won it by a hair.
by a whisker
By an extremely short or slim margin (of distance, time, or another measure). They're just about to close the gates! It looks like we made the flight by a whisker. The race was neck and neck till the very end, but Sally won it by a whisker.
come within a whisker of (something)
To almost get, achieve, or experience something. She came within a whisker of the gold medal, but her leg cramped in the last few meters. Hundreds of people came within a whisker of death when their apartment building caught on fire in the middle of the night.
by a hair('s breadth)and by a whisker
Fig. just barely; by a very small distance. I just missed getting on the plane by a hair's breadth. I made it onto the last flight by a hair!
win by a nose
Fig. to win by the slightest amount of difference. (Can be literal in horses races.) I ran the fastest race I could, but I only won by a nose. Sally won the race, but she only won by a nose.
within a whisker of something
close to something Yesterday, the price of oil came within a whisker of its all-time high. An asteroid came within a whisker of crashing into the earth.
be the cat's whiskers(British & Australian)
to be better than everyone else I thought I was the cat's whiskers in my new dress.
by a whisker
by a very small amount Last time she raced against the Brazilian she won by a whisker. He missed the goal by a whisker.
come within a whisker of something/doing something
if you come within a whisker of doing something, you almost do it or it almost happens to you He came within a whisker of beating the world champion. Several times on his trek through the jungle he came within a whisker of death.
by a hair
Also, by a hairbreadth or whisker . Very narrowly. For example, His serve was out by a hair, or We made our flight by a hairbreadth, or Dad missed hitting the pole by a whisker. The first two hyperboles for the very narrowest margin date from the 1300s and 1400s respectively; whisker meaning "a small amount" was first recorded in 1913. Also see by the skin of one's teeth; hang by a hair.
win by a nose
Also, win by a whisker. Just barely succeed, as in Sally's political cartoon came in first in the contest, but I heard that she won by a nose . This term comes from horseracing, where from about 1900 on it referred to a finish so close that only a portion of the horse's nose reached the finish ahead of the second horse. A whisker-that is, a hair-is a narrower margin yet. [Second half of 1900s]
Mr. Whiskersand Uncle Whiskers and whiskers (man)
n. a federal agent. (Underworld. From the whiskers of Uncle Sam.) Mr. Whiskers is trying to get me to pay tax on those few bucks. If Uncle Whiskers finds out what you’re doing, you’re done for.
See also: Whisker