by the skin of one's teeth

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

  • From Job 19.20. "My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh. I have escaped by the skin of my teeth."

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

Prepositional phraseEdit

by the skin of one's teeth

  1. (idiomatic) barely; closely; by a narrow margin; with nothing to spare.
    I passed the test by the skin of my teeth.
    • 2022 November 16, Paul Bigland, “From rural branches to high-speed arteries”, in RAIL, number 970, page 57:
      I would have liked to have hung around in Birmingham, but my connections are tight owing to a points failure, and I make the CrossCountry Class 170 to Derby by the skin of my teeth.
    Synonym: by a hair's breadth

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