by the skin of 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: by, of, skin, teeth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: by, of, skin, teeth
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

by the skin of (one's) teeth

By the smallest margin.
See also: by, of, skin, teeth
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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