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At a white heat vs In a dead heat

at a white heatin a state of intense or extreme emotion:

  • I saw him once while at a white heat of vexation in the library of the White House.

in a dead heat—(of a race, etc.) finishing at practically the same time:

  • The horses came to the finish in a dead heat, and, without a photograph, the results were too close to call.

See also: at a heat / in heat.