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narrow escape

A barely successful flight from or avoidance of danger or trouble, as in He had a narrow escape, since the bullet came within inches of his head. This expression uses narrow in the sense of “barely sufficient.” [ Late 1500s ]
For a newer synonym, see close call
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for narrow escape
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By which he meant diplomatically to convey that he had had a narrow escape of believing it, at any rate.

  • “Well, Pat, you have had indeed a narrow escape of your life,” observed Green.

    The Three Commanders W.H.G. Kingston
  • The narrow escape of Grace Thompson from being run over by the big touring car had not shaken Jane's nerve in the least.

  • His raft was swept over these falls, and he and his men had a narrow escape.

    Ben Comee M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
  • Of course many were for making Gordon a prisoner, and he had, humanly speaking, a narrow escape.

    General Gordon Seton Churchill
  • With all speed, I hastened home to tell my parents of my narrow escape.

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • On the same day they had a narrow escape of being squeezed in the ice.

  • I had surely had a narrow escape from their bullets, for they had fired at close range.

    The Seven Secrets William Le Queux
  • "I can't blame you for the narrow escape we had," went on the commander.

    The Boy Pilot of the Lakes Frank V. Webster

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