by the skin of your teeth

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 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
References in periodicals archive ?
You've escaped immediate custody by the skin of your teeth.
It's only by the skin of your teeth you're not going to custody.
And the chairman of the bench added: "You have just missed custody by the skin of your teeth.
He said: "You have taken a great deal of money from the public for selfish means and it is by the skin of your teeth you are not going to prison today.
It's not unusual here in recent times to be hanging on by the skin of your teeth or maybe I should just say fingertips, so I'm pleased to have won.
He told them: 'You've escaped by the skin of your teeth and are very lucky to be going home tonight.
Putting Robertson on probation, with 100 hours of community service, Sheriff Cairns told him: "You have avoided going to jail by the skin of your teeth.
He told Baker: "It is only by the skin of your teeth you are going out the side door and not the back door.
He warned her: "You have escaped the clang of the prison gates by the skin of your teeth.
Passing sentence, Captain Carolyn Stait, said: "You avoided dismissal by the skin of your teeth.