within an ace of

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Related to within an ace of: give a shot, be damned, not a chance


a. A single spot or pip on a playing card, die, or domino.
b. A playing card, die, or domino having one spot or pip.
2. In racket games:
a. A serve that one's opponent fails to hit.
b. A point scored by such a serve.
3. The act of hitting a golf ball in the hole with one's first shot.
4. A military aircraft pilot who has destroyed five or more enemy aircraft.
5. An expert in a given field.
Top-notch; first-rate.
tr.v. aced, ac·ing, ac·es
1. To serve an ace against in racket games.
2. To hit an ace on (a hole) in golf.
3. Slang To get the better of (someone): a candidate who aced his opponents in the primaries.
4. Slang
a. To receive a grade of A on: She aced the exam.
b. To perform with distinction on: aced the interview.
ace in the hole/up one's sleeve
A hidden advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed.
within an ace of
On the verge of; very near to: came within an ace of losing the election.

[Middle English as, from Old French, from Latin, unit.]


A trademark for an elastic bandage.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Once a great noisy bee was within an ace of waking her, but I caught him with inspired dexterity, and he buzzed around her head no more.
The stranger reeled and came within an ace of falling, but regained his footing right quickly.
It was Sir Madok de la Montaine, a burly great fellow whose chief distinc- tion was that he had come within an ace of sending Sir Launcelot down over his horse-tail once.
Pride, wounded honour, pity and respect tussled together daily in his heart; and now he was within an ace of throwing himself upon his father's mercy, and now of slipping forth at night and coming back no more to Naseby House.
Within an ace of being Count was he, And would have been but for the spite and gall Of this vile age, mean and illiberal, That cannot even let a donkey be.
'It is a remarkable circumstance,' he mused, dallying lazily with the teaspoon, 'that my friend the madman should have been within an ace of escaping, on his trial; and it was a good stroke of chance
'First, of attacking your master, and being within an ace of qualifying yourself to be tried for murder,' interposed Ralph.
I was not afraid of her, but it occurred to me that I was within an ace of drifting into a downright quarrel with a lady and, besides, my guest.
"Came within an ace of it," muttered Tom to himself; adding aloud, in a tone of calm resignation that assured Polly his heart would not be broken though his engagement was, "It never rains but it pours, 'specially in hard times, but when a man is down, a rap or two more don't matter much, I suppose.
The Carrier had some faint idea of adding, 'dote upon you.' But, happening to meet the half-closed eye, as it twinkled upon him over the turned-up collar of the cape, which was within an ace of poking it out, he felt it such an unlikely part and parcel of anything to be doted on, that he substituted, 'that she don't believe it?'
Well, one night he was over-bold, and within an ace of ignominious expulsion in the hey-day of his fame.
I threw up the window at once, but it opened so close to the floor and worked so clumsily that I came within an ace of pitching out, where I should certainly have ruined a rather lop-sided laburnum below.

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