AskDefine | Define hairsbreadth

Dictionary Definition

hair's-breadth n : a very small distance or space; "they escaped by a hair's-breadth"; "they lost the election by a whisker" [syn: hairsbreadth, hair, whisker]hairsbreadth n : a very small distance or space; "they escaped by a hair's-breadth"; "they lost the election by a whisker" [syn: hair's-breadth, hair, whisker]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

hair's + breadth

Pronunciation

  • (Canada): /ˈhɛrzbrɛdθ/, /"hErzbrEdT/
  • (UK): /ˈhɛərzbrɛdθ/, /"hE@rzbrEdT/

Noun

  1. a very short distance or a very small amount (as is the width of a hair)
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Act IV, Scene 2)
      I see you are obsequious in your love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth;
    • 1857, Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
      ... it was characteristic of this man, as it is of all men similarly marked, that whatever he did, he overdid, though it were sometimes by only a hairsbreadth...
    • 1919, John Buchan, Mr. Standfast
      We've missed our shot by a hairsbreadth and that's the same as missing by miles.

Derived terms

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1