squeak by

Idioms & Phrases

squeak by

Also, squeak through. Manage barely to pass, win, survive, or the like, as in They are just squeaking by on their income, or He squeaked through the driver's test. This idiom transfers squeak in the sense of "barely emit a sound" to "narrowly manage something." [First half of 1900s] Also see squeeze through.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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