trail by (something)

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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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