close call

\ˈklōs- \

Definition of close call 

: a narrow escape

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for close call


close shave, near miss

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of close call in a Sentence

We nearly didn't get out of the burning building. It was a pretty close call, let me tell you! the doctor said I'd had a close call, and was lucky to be alive

Recent Examples on the Web

Nick Hague on Tuesday publicly described his close call. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "NASA astronaut describes close call following failed launch," 16 Oct. 2018 But her close call is a good reminder that food allergies are no joke. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Gina Rodriguez, Who Is ‘Deathly Allergic’ to Blueberries, Accidentally Ate a Blueberry," 26 Sep. 2018 The narrative drive lost some energy, as plot twists were recycled, and as the near misses and close calls piled up. Matthew Gilbert,, "There’s Emmy drama in the face-off between two of this year’s very best," 12 July 2018 There’s young talent, in-their-prime talent, and close calls in the recent past that herald a more glittering future. Brian Straus,, "Ties That Bind World Cup Semifinal Foes France, Belgium Go Beyond Thierry Henry," 9 July 2018 In either case, this represents a fascinating example of cloud-to-ground lightning — and a close call for this police officer. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "Watch lightning strike dangerously close to this police officer," 29 June 2018 Stardom awaits Moncada but the spotlight need not include longer, harder looks from umpires unwilling to give any close calls to the kid whose manager whined about his strike zone. David Haugh,, "Rick Renteria's gripe only makes it tougher for Yoan Moncada," 13 June 2018 Triple Crown classics — the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes —have not decreased in difficulty, but an excruciating wait and agonizing close calls between masters of all three seem necessary for mainstream interest to rise. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Justify doesn't need popularity. He has the Triple Crown," 9 June 2018 And for about 6%, that dangerous event will come in the first year after their close call. Melissa Healy,, "To prevent recurrent strokes, should aspirin have a wingman? Maybe not," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'close call.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of close call

1881, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about close call

Share close call

Statistics for close call

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for close call

The first known use of close call was in 1881

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for close call

close call


English Language Learners Definition of close call

: an escape that was almost not successful

close call

\ˈklōs- \

Kids Definition of close call

: a barely successful escape from a difficult or dangerous situation

More from Merriam-Webster on close call

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with close call

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for close call

Comments on close call

What made you want to look up close call? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!