close call

[klohs]
noun
a narrow escape from danger or trouble.

Origin:
1880–85, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To close call
Collins
World English Dictionary
close call (kləʊs)
 
n
another expression for close shave

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

close call

Also, close shave. Narrow escape, near miss. For example, That skier just missed the treewhat a close call, or That was a close shave, nearly leaving your passport behind. The first phrase dates from the late 1800s and comes from sports, alluding to an official's decision (call) that could have gone either way. The second, from the early 1800s, alludes to the narrow margin between closely shaved skin and a razor cut. (This latter usage replaced the much earlier equation of a close shave with miserliness, based on the idea that a close shave by a barber meant one would not have to spend money on another shave quite so soon.) Also see too close for comfort.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Were the vote to be held today, it would be a close call.
In the aftermath of the close call, a détente seems far out of reach.
Though thinking about it, that was a real close call, it being hidden in the
  middle of the paper.
For hundreds of thousands more, it was either a life-changing calamity or a
  close call.
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature