within an inch of

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to within an inch of: within an inch of life

within an inch of (someone or something)

1. Right up next to someone or something; very close to something physically. I swear, the car was within an inch of us as it swerved by—I even thought could feel the side mirror brush against my sleeve! If you come within an inch of us again, I'll get a restraining order from the police!
2. Extremely close to doing, achieving, or obtaining something, typically having failed by a very narrow margin. I came within an inch of winning that race, but I guess I'll have to settle for second place. They were within an inch of defeat when the quarterback threw a Hail Mary for a last-second touchdown. Crude oil prices came within an inch of $80 a barrel on Friday, threatening to plunge markets further into recession around the globe.
See also: inch, of, within

within an ˈinch of something/of doing something

very near/close to something/to doing something: I came within an inch of death in that car accident.They came within an inch of winning the match.They beat him within an inch of his life (= very severely).
See also: inch, of, something, within

within an inch of

Almost to the point of: came within an inch of death.
See also: inch, of, within
References in periodicals archive ?
On morphine, I was certain site was being tortured to within an inch of her 70-year-old life.
Joined by seven men and seven women trained within an inch of their lives in ballet, gymnastics, and yoga, Colker creates a kaleidoscope of kinetic images, from ridiculous to sublime.
Henman came within an inch of having to go the full distance against Sebastien Grosjean in round three and Woodruff, yet to be tested in his three matches, should also put up a fight.
And if you like four men buffed and manicured to within an inch of their lives belting out classics, you are in luck.
As you would expect from any Matt Lucas and David Walliams sketch show, there was always going to be a certain amount of offence caused, as the duo played out stereotypes to within an inch of their fake body-suit breasts.
In 1937, a 25lb stage weight crashed within an inch of Laurence Olivier as he played the lead role.
Admittedly, I did say to the person who was responsible for such things on the day that I demanded to be airbrushed to within an inch of my life, a bit like the Lily Allen/Green Day covers etc.
A well-heeled sheikh has just taken a perfectly gorgeous Ferrari 599 and had its aluminium body polished to within an inch of its life.
"This thing is rehearsed within an inch of its life so it looks flawless on TV.
The jeans may be dressed down, but that hair has been done to within an inch of its life.
Beaten within an inch of his life, asylum seeker Yasin Ahmedi today tells of his ordeal for the first time.
That Green's anthology is a baggy, undisciplined collection of anecdote, assertion, scholarship, psychology and pseudo - as well as real - insights does not in itself invalidate this work, which is designed within an inch of its life with two colours of type.
THE GOSSIP that's not what i heard: Fresh from rockin' Ladyfest attendees within an inch of their wits, Northwest talks-of-the-town the Gossip return this fall with more of that punk wallop that makes them, well, the talk of the town.
Viviene Turner, prosecuting, said Brown reacted angrily after Miss Oliver watched him reverse the silver Lexus within an inch of her grandmother's car.
Also, Gareth Rodgers discovers an Indian treat in Pontyclun 7 Denim is back and this time it's ripped and bleached to within an inch of its life 8& 9 Alison Young and her family enjoy a luxurious and environmentally friendly break in Cornwall 10 Pick a fantastic holiday from our readers' selection 11 Discover the delights of Jersey this summer 12& 13 Matt Thomas gives his view on next week's TV highlights plus the latest books, DVDs and music releases 14 Your seven day TV listings
Full browser ?