come within an inch of (something)

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come within an inch of (something)

To almost get, achieve, or experience something. She came within an inch of the gold medal, but her leg cramped in the last few meters. Hundreds of people came within an inch of death when their apartment building caught on fire in the middle of the night.
See also: come, inch, of, within
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come within an inch of someone or something

 and come within a hair('s breadth) of someone or something
to come very close to someone or something. The bullet came within an inch of Heather. The car came within a hair of the bus.
See also: come, inch, of, within

come within an inch of doing something

Fig. almost to do something; to come very close to doing something. I came within an inch of going into the army. I came within an inch of falling off the roof.
See also: come, inch, of, within
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

come within an inch of doing something

If you come within an inch of doing something, you very nearly do it. The company came within an inch of going bankrupt. Note: You can also say that you are within an inch of doing something. She had been within an inch of rejecting the idea altogether.
See also: come, inch, of, something, within
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Bertha "puffed out his chest," raised his arms and continued to approach, coming within an inch of the officer, according to the sheriff's report.
It was cruel luck for Aberavon who scored two splendid tries and tackled their hearts out - coming within an inch of victory in the final play of the match as they go into third place.
NEW YORK - Gold prices soared Thursday in New York to a fresh closing high, coming within an inch of $1,440 an ounce, amid concerns over the Middle Eastern situation and Europe's financial problems.
In a similar vein, the short video Dog, by Alexander Heim, follows a stray in Beijing, a kind of 'innocent fool', coming within an inch of disaster at every turn while oblivious to the millions of city-dwellers around.
His latest sending-off occurred when he and Brown squared up to each other during United's FA Cup defeat by Hull on Wednesday - the two coming within an inch of clashing foreheads.
The Renault driver won a wheel-to-wheel battle with Michael Schumacher for maximum points after coming within an inch of hitting Schumacher as he came out of the pits right alongside the Ferrari.
Actually Doherty is able to put things into a greater perspective these days after coming within an inch of a careerfinishing injury last November.
But while Woods performed plenty of magic tricks on his way to victory, he also diced with disaster, coming within an inch of finding water at the