miss by a mile

Idioms & Phrases

miss by a mile

Fall short, fail by a considerable amount, as in Your guess as to the winner missed by a mile. This expression employs miss in the sense of "fail to hit something aimed at," a usage dating from the late 1400s, and by a mile for a great distance or interval, so used since Shakespeare's day.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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