within a whisker of

within a whisker of (something)

Very close to something. I swear the car came within a whisker of hitting the train, but stopped at the last second. I came within a whisker of winning that race, but I guess I'll have to settle for second place.
See also: of, whisker, within

within a whisker of

extremely close or near to doing, achieving, or suffering something. informal
See also: of, whisker, within
References in periodicals archive ?
Barcelona have moved to within a whisker of a second straight La Liga crown when Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Pedro earned a nervy 3-2 win at ten-man Sevilla on Saturday.
As Eddie Murphy, Chairman and MD of Ford Ireland explains Ford has had another record-breaking year in CV sales: "We came within a whisker of the all-important 10,000 unit barrier for the first time.
The BNP came close to winning a by-election in Stoke, as four candidates finished within a whisker of each other.
Peterborough rallied before the break, and 17-year-old wonder-kid Ryan Semple came within a whisker of marking his senior debut with a stunning solo goal before Andy Clarke fired home just before half-time.
Jack Underhill also came within a whisker of taking the under 22s crown when he was beaten 3-2 by Herberts A's Tim Singh.
In one of the biggest daily rises ever, furious buying sent the FTSE- 100 Index soaring above the crucial 6,100 barrier as shares came within a whisker of their all-time closing record.
"I have come within a whisker of revoking this licence and disqualifying the company and its directors."