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: by, of, skin, teeth

skin of your teeth

The narrowest of margins. Job 19:20 has its protagonist say, “I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.” That is to say, Job's gums, the skin that held his teeth in place, which would indeed have been a narrow margin.
See also: of, skin, teeth
References in periodicals archive ?
You've escaped immediate custody by the skin of your teeth. It won't happen again."
"It's only by the skin of your teeth you're not going to custody."
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."
The judge told him: "You have escaped a custodial sentence by the skin of your teeth and I hope you appreciate that."
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."
"You have escaped prison by the skin of your teeth."
Recorder Abdul Iqbal told them: "You have been spared jail by the skin of your teeth. This was a sham and your deception was cruel against people struggling to find work."
He warned her: "You have escaped the clang of the prison gates by the skin of your teeth."
Judge John Crocker told him: "You have escaped prison by the skin of your teeth."
Passing sentence, Captain Carolyn Stait, said: "You avoided dismissal by the skin of your teeth. This is your last chance."