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Related to hairbreadth: hair's breadth, hairsbreadth


Extremely close: a hairbreadth escape.
Variant of hairsbreadth.


another word for hair's-breadth


(ˈhɛərˌbrɛdθ, -ˌbrɛtθ)

also hairsbreadth

1. a very small space or distance: to escape by a hairbreadth.
2. extremely narrow or close: a hairbreadth escape.
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References in classic literature ?
Some of their braves, also, who have had numerous hairbreadth 'scapes, like the old Nez Perce chief in the battle of Pierre's Hole, are believed to wear a charmed life, and to be bullet-proof.
Yet it was not the excitement of the fiction that I dreaded, for I consumed great numbers of narratives of travel, and was not in the least troubled by hairbreadth escapes, or shipwrecks, or perils from wild beasts or deadly serpents; it was the dramatic effect contrived by the playwright or novelist, and worked up to in the speech of his characters that I could not bear.
In short, these kind of hairbreadth missings of happiness look like the insults of Fortune, who may be considered as thus playing tricks with us, and wantonly diverting herself at our expense.
The Virginia reel, as performed on board the Quaker City, had more genuine reel about it than any reel I ever saw before, and was as full of interest to the spectator as it was full of desperate chances and hairbreadth escapes to the participant.
He had himself experienced their vindictive cruelty, and his story deserves particular citation, as showing the hairbreadth adventures to which these solitary rovers of the wilderness are exposed.
He become so small, we ourselves saw Miss Lucy, ere she was at peace, slip through a hairbreadth space at the tomb door.
Although she had blunted her taste upon some form of philanthropy for twenty-five years, she had a fine natural instinct for an upstart or a pretender, and knew to a hairbreadth what literature should be and what it should not be.
It was a strange way of killing: not by inches, but by fractions of hairbreadths, to beguile me with the spectre of a hope through eighteen years
Drawing on Caribbean and British folktales with equal ease, the image-rich poems in this book emerge from all forms of sleepless vigil and gradual waking--from the worried mother and the watchful virgin to Rip Van Winkle--hovering (like their speakers) a hairbreadth away from the illogic of dreams.
Performing from memory then was the musical equivalent of walking a tight rope: "There are dangers, hairbreadth escapes, in sliding over such thin ice.
True to the genre, The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda features star-crossed lovers, hairbreadth escapes, and perilous wandering through a varied, fantastic, and geographically vague setting.
The most powerful Cadillac of all time can shoot to within a hairbreadth of 200mph, yet it retains the sense of luxury on which the brand built its reputation.