by the skin of your teeth

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - by the skin of your teeth

"by the skin of your teeth"

just barely;

by the smallest margin;

just succeed in doing something


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - by the skin of your teeth

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I don't know if I can finish this project before the deadline.

Colleague 2:  When is the deadline?

Colleague 1:  On the tenth of May.

Colleague 2:  You've got two weeks.

Colleague 1:  But the final figures that I need won't be available until the ninth.

Colleague 2:  Sounds like you will finish just by the skin of your teeth.

Colleague 1:  If all goes to plan.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - by the skin of your teeth

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Did you here about Roger's near miss on his bicycle?

Friend 2:  No. What happened?

Friend 1:  He was bicycling across an intersection when a car came speeding down the road and ran the red light. Roger was able to jump out of the way at the last minute but the car still clipped his bicycle.

Friend 2:  Sounds like Roger escaped death by the skin of his teeth.

Friend 1:  It was very close.

by the skin of your teeth - Usage:


by the skin of your teeth - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for by the skin of your teeth.

by the skin of your teeth - Examples:

1)  ... last week two IDF soldiers who accidentally entered a Palestinian village north of Jerusalem escaped a lynch mob by the skin of their teeth.

2)  Their one win came by the skin of their teeth when they scored the game-winning goal in the dying minutes against the half Toronto Marlies and ...

3)  Still punching above our weight. Still taking on the big boys. Still staying up by the skin of our teeth. Something, however, had started to change.

4)  You dared not hold out much hope for a team that overturned deficits, sometimes by the skin of their teeth, in six of their first 11 games; ... 

5)  Shahid Afridi, their captain, is hanging on to the position by the skin of his teeth.

6)  ... the government on vital supply bills, meaning that Annastacia Palaszczuk is holding onto power by the skin of her presumably-gritted teeth.

7)  “We're kind of being surprised every day, hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” says Gunn of her band's mounting success.

8)  The Blues turned away a handful of close calls, and looked like they'd pull out with a win by the skin of their teeth. Not so.

9)  Maybe Jimmy will skate by this infraction by the skin of his teeth, but even if he does, his days at Davis & Main are obviously numbered.

10)  She made it just by the skin of her teeth, but she made it. It was quite a surprise for us and a pleasant one.

11)  She is often out of her league and saves the day by the skin of her teeth

12)  ... barred thousands of mainly reformist candidates from running in last week's elections, made it onto the assembly by the skin of his teeth only, ...

13)  Two hours we sat like that, two hours we battled it out, each of us equally determined to capture the other's king (I won, but only by the skin of my teeth).

14)  ... communications minister lost his seat, while Alan Kelly, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, only avoided losing his by the skin of his teeth.

15)  This football club, for so long, has been the whipping boys of the division and managed to stay up by the skin of their teeth every year.

16)  They escape by the skin of their teeth, nerves frayed but otherwise safe, only to have the Russian mafia up the stakes: ...

17)  The last men out got out by the skin of their teeth when a helicopter landed on the embassy roof for a final rescue attempt. 

18)  That kid, he is so stinkin' strong it's not even funny. I ain't going to lie, I was just hanging on by the skin of my teeth for those last couple seconds.

19)  A lot of people seem like they got out but by the skin of their teeth.

20)  Ashley reportedly made the birth by the skin of his teeth after he rushed from Los Angeles - where his team LA Galaxy were playing in the ...