under the wire

Idioms & Phrases

under the wire

Barely, scarcely, just within the limit, as in This book will be finished just under the wire. This term comes from horse racing, where the wire marks the finish line. [First half of 1900s] Also see down to the wire.

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