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near miss

or near-miss

noun
1.
a strike by a missile that is not a direct hit but is close enough to damage the target.
2.
an instance of two vehicles, aircraft, etc., narrowly avoiding a collision.
3.
something that falls narrowly short of its object or of success:
an interesting movie, but a near miss.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for near miss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • near miss Dayton's home a fine private school had been opened, which offered every advantage for girls of Randy's age.

  • I would have liked to be near miss Desmond, as I wished to draw her out further in regard to her political principles.

    In Hostile Red Joseph Altsheler
  • Sometimes—after, say, a near miss on the polo field—he would wonder how polite and dignified the great old days actually had been.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • That seat behind the new little girl was the only vacant one in the room located at all near miss Brown's desk.

    A Son of the City Herman Gastrell Seely
  • I should be very glad to be near miss Emma of course, and always am.'

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • She was too angry to notice how near miss Campbell and Elinor were sitting to the open door.

  • Years back, an Invader bomber had scored a near miss on the building, and minor damage to stonework was unrepaired.

  • For that reason I should like to come back here to school next year and be near miss North.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
British Dictionary definitions for near miss

near miss

noun
1.
a bomb, shell, etc, that does not exactly hit the target
2.
any attempt or shot that just fails to be successful
3.
an incident in which two vehicles narrowly avoid collision
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with near miss

near miss

A narrowly avoided mishap; also, an attempt that falls just short of success. For example, It was a near miss for that truck, since the driver had crossed the center strip into on-coming traffic, or Her horse kept having a near miss in every race, so she decided to sell it. This expression originated during World War II, when it signified a bomb exploding in the water near enough to a ship to damage its hull. Soon afterward it acquired its present meanings.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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