trail by

trail by (something)

To be losing to someone in a competition by a certain number (of points, votes, etc.). The team trailed by 17 points at halftime. I'm afraid we're trailing by too many votes to win the election at this point. Though their newest smartphone is the most technologically advanced on the market, it continues to trail by several million units in sales compared to its competitors.
See also: by, trail
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

trail someone or something by something

to have a smaller score than someone or something by a specific number of points. Our team trails the visiting team by only six points. I trailed her by only a few points.
See also: by, trail
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
“We believe that policymakers should support the goals of the four cities Stevens Creek Trail by leveraging existing infrastructure and related initiatives that are underway in the cities involved and in Santa Clara County.”
In January last year, Ethan Langer from Boy Scout Troop 101 constructed .3 miles of the new Coyote Trail by cutting brush and clearing the trail.
The trail had been the dream of University of Oregon track standout Steve Prefontaine, and his death on May 30, 1975, inspired a concerted effort to finish the trail by September of that year.
Maps and a guidebook are available from Seaway Trail by calling 1-800-SEAWAY-T.
Splurge a little and purchase the magnificent coffee table pictorial, On the Oregon Trail by Jonathan Nicholas, Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co., Portland, Oregon 97210, $45.
"And we will be able to better inform the trail user of their experience on the trail by having information on grades, slopes, surfaces and obstacles available at the trail heads."