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Difference between Come down to the wire and Come under the wire

come down to the wire —(also: go down to the wire) continue to the very last moment or the very end:

  • The game came down to the wire with the Eckerd defense stopping the Owls in the final minutes.

come under the wire —(also: go under the wire)

1. be at the finishing-line of a racecourse:

  • He hardly ever came under the wire behind the other runners.

2. come at the last possible moment:

  • The law suits were filed on New Year’s Eve, thus came under the wire as an event of 1941.