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[hair-bredth, -bretth] /ˈhɛərˌbrɛdθ, -ˌbrɛtθ/
noun, adjective
Origin of hairbreadth
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English heere brede; see hair, breadth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hairbreadth
  • The trip was continued but the nerves of tho travelers were not helped by their hairbreadth escape.
  • Including a few- hairbreadth escapes while proselyting.
  • But few casualties occurred, although some narrow and hairbreadth escapes happened.
  • Thus begins a roller coaster ride of comic mishaps, unexpected perils and hairbreadth escapes.
Word Origin and History for 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 + breadth.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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