Advertisement

Hair’s breadth (hare’s breath)

  •  
  • hair’s breadth is a very short distance. Breadth in this phrase is synonymous with width, so the phrase literally refers to the width of a hair. Hare’s breath and hair’s breath are interesting images, but for the phrase denoting a short distance, they are misspellings.

    Examples

    Advertisement

    On the following Tuesday the world’s financial system came to within one hair’s breadth of extinction.  [DeRosaWorld]

    Little by little, Mr. Calderón stretches the familiar into a scary, empty new world that is just a hair’s breadth away from the one we know today. [New York Times]

    They were a hair’s breadth from mentioning our beloved up-and-coming MFA program. [Rutgers-Newark MFA: Blog]

    Advertisement

    Comments

    1. I have seen people use the (mis)term “hare’s breath”, implying the breath of a rabbit…

    Speak Your Mind

    About Grammarist
    Contact | Privacy policy | Home
    © Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist