noun /ˈhɛrˌbrɛdθ/
the width of a hair, a very short distance or a very small amount

In short, these kind of hairbreadth missings of happiness look like the insults of Fortune, who may be considered as thus playing tricks with us, and wantonly diverting herself at our expense.

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  • Hairbreadth — Hair breadth ( br[e^]dth), Hair s breadth Hair s breadth (h[^a]rz ). The diameter or breadth of a hair; a very small distance; sometimes, definitely, the forty eighth part of an inch. [Also spelled {hairsbreadth}.] [1913 Webster] Every one could… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hairbreadth — Hair breadth , a. Having the breadth of a hair; very narrow; as, a hairbreadth escape. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hairbreadth — [her′bredth΄] n. an extremely small space or amount adj. very narrow; close [a hairbreadth escape] …   English World dictionary

  • hairbreadth — also hairsbreadth, hairs breadth, hair s breadth, mid 15c., said to have been formerly a formal unit of measure equal to one forty eighth of an inch. From HAIR (Cf. hair) + BREADTH (Cf. breadth) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hairbreadth — hair•breadth [[t]ˈhɛərˌbrɛdθ, ˌbrɛtθ[/t]] also hairsbreadth n. 1) a very small space or distance: to escape by a hairbreadth[/ex] 2) extremely narrow or close: a hairbreadth escape[/ex] • Etymology: 1400–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • hairbreadth — I. noun or hairsbreadth Date: 1561 a very small distance or margin II. adjective Date: 1604 very narrow ; close < a hairbreadth escape > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hairbreadth — n. = hair s breadth; (esp. attrib.: a hairbreadth escape) …   Useful english dictionary

  • hairbreadth — /hair bredth , bretth /, n., adj. hairsbreadth. [1400 50; late ME heere brede; see HAIR, BREADTH] * * * …   Universalium

  • hairbreadth — Synonyms and related words: ace, bit, bowshot, brief span, close quarters, close range, closeness, confinement, crack, crowdedness, earreach, earshot, gunshot, hair, hair space, hairsbreadth, incapaciousness, inch, incommodiousness, limitation,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • hairbreadth — (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. hazardous, narrow, close; see dangerous 1 , unsafe . n. Syn. small margin, fraction, jot; see bit 3 , hair 3 …   English dictionary for students

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