photo finish

photo finish

noun Sports.
a finish of a race in which two or more contestants are so close to the finish line that reference to a photograph of the finish is necessary to determine the winner.

Origin:
1935–40

photo-finish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
photo finish
 
n
1.  a finish of a race in which contestants are so close that a photograph is needed to decide the result
2.  any race or competition in which the winners or placed contestants are separated by a very small margin

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