[hairz-bredth, -bretth, -breth]


a very small space or distance: We escaped an accident by a hairsbreadth.


extremely narrow or close.

Also hair's-breadth, hairbreadth.

Origin of hairsbreadth

First recorded in 1575–85 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hairsbreadth

breadth, trace, whiff, whisper, hair, fraction, touch, tinge, hairsbreadth, bit, jot, hairbreadth

Examples from the Web for hairsbreadth

Historical Examples of hairsbreadth

  • Not by a hairsbreadth has all that has passed in the interval lowered you in my eyes.

  • 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.