Two racers going nip and tuck.

Alternative formsEdit


  • (file)


nip and tuck (comparative more nip and tuck, superlative most nip and tuck)

  1. (idiomatic) So evenly matched that the advantage shifts from one to the other, and the outcome is uncertain.
    • 1867, C.H. Webb, My Mexican Mines, at Harper's Magazine, page 461
      It was nip and tuck with me between holding on to my stock and being sold out; but by great industry and prudence I managed to keep a little ahead and my mouth above water.
    • 1906, Jack London, Before Adam, chapter 12
      We broke away toward the north, the tribe howling on our track. Across the open spaces we gained, and in the brush they caught up with us, and more than once it was nip and tuck.
    • 1951, Howdy Doody's Christmas
      Well, it was nip and tuck, but everything worked out fine. Santa Claus got there in time to bring toys to all the boys and girls.

See alsoEdit


nip and tuck (comparative more nip and tuck, superlative most nip and tuck)

  1. With the advantage changing hands, or shifting back and forth among the available alternatives.
    • 2009, Alec M. Gallup, Frank Newport, Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 2008, page 379:
      Obama's road to the White House was far from assured during the 2008 primary season when he ran nip and tuck with McCain in early Gallup Poll trial heats for the general election.



nip and tuck (plural nip and tucks or nips and tucks)

  1. Minor cosmetic surgery that tightens loose skin.