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Hair-breadth

'Scape A very narrow escape from some evil. In measurement the forty-eighth part of an inch is called a “hair-breadth.”

Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field,
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' th' imminent deadly reach.'

Shakespeare: Othello, i. 3.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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