by the skin of (one's) teeth

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by the skin of (one's) teeth

Barely. Often used to describe something that almost didn't happen. Oh man, my car wouldn't start this morning—I just made it here by the skin of my teeth!
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of one's teeth

Fig. just barely. (By an amount equal to the thickness of the (imaginary) skin on one's teeth.) I got through calculus class by the skin of my teeth. I got to the airport a few minutes late and missed the plane by the skin of my teeth. Lloyd escaped from the burning building by the skin of his teeth.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of one's teeth

Just barely, very narrowly, as in Doug passed the exam by the skin of his teeth. A related term appears in the Bible (Job 19:20), where Job says, "I am escaped with the skin of my teeth," presumably meaning he got away with nothing at all. Today the phrase using by is used most often to describe a narrow escape. [c. 1600] Also see squeak through.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of your teeth

COMMON If you do something by the skin of your teeth, you just manage to do it but very nearly fail. In the men's First Division, the champions survived by the skin of their teeth. She was there when the fighting started and escaped by the skin of her teeth. Note: This expression seems to come from the book of Job in the Bible, although its meaning has completely changed. Job loses everything and then says `I am escaped with the skin of my teeth' (Job 19:20), meaning that the skin of his teeth is all he has left.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of your teeth

by a very narrow margin; only just.
See also: of, skin, teeth

by the skin of (one's) teeth

By the smallest margin.
See also: of, skin, teeth