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See also: hair's breadth
hairsbreadth (plural hairsbreadths)
- A very short distance or a very small amount (as is the width of a hair).
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene ii], page 54, column 1:
- [...] I ſee you are obſequious in your loue, and I profeſſe requitall to a haires bredth, [...]
- 1855 December – 1857 June, Charles Dickens, “The Word of a Gentleman”, in Little Dorrit, London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1857, OCLC 83401042, book the first (Poverty), page 265:
- [I]t 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 hair's-breadth [...]
- 1919, John Buchan, Mr. Standfast:
- We've missed our shot by a hairsbreadth and that's the same as missing by miles.
- 2010 March, Neil McDonald, Quadrant, Quadrant Magazine Limited, volume LIV, number 3 (number 464 overall), page 100:
- In Avatar the spectacular rides to the rescue and hairsbreadth escapes have the whole film behind them and because of that are dramatically and emotionally satisfying.