to within an inch of your life

within an inch of (one's) life

Very soundly or thoroughly, to or as if to the point of near death. Our neighbor is in the hospital because a burglar beat him to within an inch of his life. The sudden blaring of the alarm scared me within an inch of my life.
See also: inch, life, of, within

to within an inch of your life

1. If someone beats another person to within an inch of their life, they beat them very severely. His fists were clenched as if he were going to beat Smythe to within an inch of his life.
2. You can use to within an inch of their life or within an inch of their life after a verb to say that someone does something to an extreme degree. Can a classic car that has been restored to within an inch of its life still be described as original? You can see them shopping in London stores, groomed within an inch of their lives, with their best sides ready for any passing press photographer.
See also: inch, life, of, within
References in periodicals archive ?
? Sloppy defending When you play under Tony Pulis you are drilled to within an inch of your life. So he certainly wouldn't have been happy with the sloppy defending for Villa's goal.
(Prepare to be plundered to within an inch of your life, CD:UK.) ?
They can walk into your house and batter you to within an inch of your life or kill you and they get a couple of years suspended sentence.
THERE are several excellent restaurants in the Vale but when you have gardened to within an inch of your life and want a cosy informal meal or an impromptu get-together with friends, then my vote is for the Red Fox at Penllyn.
Maybe a box of posh chocs and a take-out, or perhaps a weekend break at a spa being pampered to within an inch of your life? Whatever the answer, many people will respond differently and, as this two-part documentary reveals, attitudes to luxury have shaped and divided societies throughout history.