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2017 Word of the Year

hairsbreadth

[hairz-bredth, -bretth, -breth] /ˈhɛərzˌbrɛdθ, -ˌbrɛtθ, -ˌbrɛθ/
noun
1.
a very small space or distance:
We escaped an accident by a hairsbreadth.
adjective
2.
extremely narrow or close.
Also, hair's-breadth, hairbreadth.
Origin of hairsbreadth
1575-1585
First recorded in 1575-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hairsbreadth
Historical Examples
  • Not by a hairsbreadth has all that has passed in the interval lowered you in my eyes.

    When We Dead Awaken Henrik Ibsen
  • I think, mamma, I never depart a hairsbreadth from your will.

    The Storm Aleksandr Nicolaevich Ostrovsky
  • You heard my terms, and nothing that you can urge will move me a hairsbreadth from them.

    The Impostor

    Harold Bindloss
  • He was more than once within a hairsbreadth of death but at length he was brought by his master, Kakinathucca, to his home.

  • It was a fit ending to the first stage of Canadian history—a hopeless venture, a confession of weakness, a hairsbreadth escape.

  • Not a chink was visible, and the heavy bell would not move one hairsbreadth, notwithstanding all her efforts.

    Fairy Circles Unknown
  • I would take good care not to lean a hairsbreadth towards radicalism.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • When old Henry Ford made up his mind on any p'int a cyclone wouldn't turn him a hairsbreadth—no, nor an earthquake neither.

  • He had a habit of darting them around a wide circle of objects, without turning his head a hairsbreadth.

    Adle Dubois Mrs. William T. Savage
  • We catch a word, a touch of flippancy, a suggestion of licence, a covert sneer which goes too far by a hairsbreadth.

    Judges and Ruth Robert A. Watson

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Nearby words for hairsbreadth

Word Value for hairsbreadth

21
20
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