within a whisker of

within a whisker of (something)

Very close to something. I swear the car came within a whisker of hitting the train, but stopped at the last second. I came within a whisker of winning that race, but I guess I'll have to settle for second place.
See also: of, whisker, within

within a whisker of

extremely close or near to doing, achieving, or suffering something. informal
See also: of, whisker, within
References in periodicals archive ?
The BNP came close to winning a by-election in Stoke, as four candidates finished within a whisker of each other.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 27 points Wednesday, bringing it within a whisker of its record 5,778 close on May 22 and nearly completing a recovery that wiped out its 6.