come within a whisker of (something)

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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.
See also: come, of, whisker, within
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come within a whisker of something

COMMON If you come within a whisker of doing something, you almost do it. He came within a whisker of scoring the most spectacular goal. Meanwhile, Guccione came within a whisker of losing his mansion. Note: You can also say that someone is within a whisker of doing something. The two firms are within a whisker of agreeing a deal. Yet Miller had been within a whisker of being sacked.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
WYMESWOLD'S Holly Smith and her nineyear old horse, Quality Old Joker, came within a whisker of winning for the second year in succession the top prize in the Cayenne Puissance held at the London International Horse Show at Olympia.
CHESHIRE'S Olivia Briggs came within a whisker of victory on the prestigious Orange Blossom Tour in Florida.
Taribo west, who came within a whisker of joining Newcastle United, has been given the chance to show the St James's Park faithful what they missed tonight.
RONNIE O'SULLIVAN came within a whisker of compiling only the second maximum break in the 29-year history of snooker's Benson & Hedges Masters at Wembley last night.
Peterborough rallied before the break, and 17-year-old wonder-kid Ryan Semple came within a whisker of marking his senior debut with a stunning solo goal before Andy Clarke fired home just before half-time.
Jack Underhill also came within a whisker of taking the under 22s crown when he was beaten 3-2 by Herberts A's Tim Singh.