hairbreadth

noun
hair·​breadth | \ˈher-ˌbretth, -ˌbreth, -ˌbredth\
variants: or hairsbreadth \ˈherz-​ˌbretth, -​ˌbreth, -​ˌbredth \

Definition of hairbreadth 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a very small distance or margin

hairbreadth

adjective

Definition of hairbreadth (Entry 2 of 2)

: very narrow : close a hairbreadth escape

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Examples of hairbreadth in a Sentence

Noun

just missed the bull's-eye by a hairbreadth

Adjective

a hairbreadth victory, but a victory nevertheless

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Should the electoral officials’ math hold up, the hairbreadth victory is likely to provide only limited comfort to Mr. del Mazo’s party. Kirk Semple And Marina Franco, New York Times, "In Mexican Election, Governing Party Is Poised for a Narrow Win," 4 June 2017 The year closed with the hairbreadth victory of a law-and-order Presidential nominee whose Southern strategy of racial politicking remade the electoral map. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The Return of Civil Disobedience," 9 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The hairbreadth outcome in the race belied its sweeping consequences. Author: Alexander Burns And Jonathan Martin, Anchorage Daily News, "Democrat wins Pennsylvania House race in Trump country," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hairbreadth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hairbreadth

Noun

1561, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1604, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hairbreadth

The first known use of hairbreadth was in 1561

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More from Merriam-Webster on hairbreadth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hairbreadth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hairbreadth

Spanish Central: Translation of hairbreadth

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