Definition of by inches in English:

by inches


  • Only just.

    ‘the shot missed her by inches’
    • ‘It missed me by inches and shattered when it hit the wall.’
    • ‘But Mooney was out of luck when his sizzling low drive missed the post by inches.’
    • ‘Luckily for him, the Brazilian's shot misses the far post by inches.’
    • ‘A coach driver cheated death when a gang of youths hurled lumps of concrete through his windscreen as he drove under a bridge - missing him by inches.’
    • ‘He was so drunk he fell into the wall, missing me by inches.’
    • ‘Minutes later he missed a tempting cross by inches.’
    • ‘Traffic police said they believe a gust of wind uprooted the tree and sent it smashing on to Moira's new black VW Golf, slicing through the roof and missing her by inches.’
    • ‘He was taken to hospital in Chorley with cuts and bruises after part of the lorry smashed through his windscreen missing his head by inches.’
    • ‘The next day, Stone Phillips missed me by inches on a shot near the ninth fairway.’
    • ‘A court heard that Bradley became annoyed after a shot missed his head by inches and none of Mr Haley's group had shouted ‘fore’ to warn him.’
    by a narrow margin, narrowly, only just, by inches, by a hair's breadth, by the narrowest of margins
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