|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|
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.