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.

     

    1 To 1 English native Teachers,  the best way to improve your English!
    Click here to find out more!

    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