within an inch of life


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within an inch of (one's) life

Almost entirely. 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

within an inch of one's life

Fig. very close to losing one's life; almost to death. The accident frightened me within an inch of my life. When Mary was seriously ill in the hospital, she came within an inch of her life.
See also: inch, life, of, within