let (something) slip through (one's) fingers

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let (something) slip through (one's) fingers

1. To fail to catch, capture, or maintain custody of someone, usually due to his or her cunning or trickery. The officers very nearly apprehended the suspect, but he slipped through their fingers at the last second. We had the cell guarded by three people, but she still managed to slip through our fingers somehow.
2. To fail to achieve something or make use of an opportunity. I had a chance to be a part of a Broadway musical once, but I was too unsure of myself and let it slip through my fingers. We've been training too hard to let another championship title slip through our fingers again this year!
See also: finger, let, slip, through