be pipped at the post

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be pipped at 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 at the post by a relatively unknown competitor in the final 100 metres. It appears the current MP has been pipped at the post, being narrowly defeated by the youngest person to ever serve in parliament.
See also: pip, post
References in periodicals archive ?
Even though Madison did not reach the second day of the contest, she almost did, having been pipped at the post by another child on a very difficult spelling question - one which most adults including myself could not even pronounce, never mind spell.
McGrane has been pipped at the post more times than he cares to mention but holds a comfortable three-stroke lead going into the last round in Beijing.
But it could have been so much more had the Dungannon giant not been pipped at the post by Pierre Fulke for the pounds 333,000 winner's cheque yesterday.