close call


: a narrow escape

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Recent Examples on the Web The nation’s air-traffic-control system faces increasing hazards from short staffing, outdated technology and chronic underfunding, according to a federal report that examined safety issues following a string of close calls at U.S. airports over the past year. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, 15 Nov. 2023 The report noted a deterioration of military communications between Beijing and Washington, despite a spate of close calls between U.S. and Chinese military aircraft over the South China Sea. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2023 The near miss follows a few similar incidents this year: In February, the Austin airport experienced another close call between a Southwest plane and a FedEx pilot, The Washington Post noted. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 10 Oct. 2023 With a surge in demand for travel this year, there have been several high-profile close calls and near misses across the country, totaling up to 670 reported through May to the Federal Aviation Administration. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 24 Aug. 2023 As far as public debates go, this isn’t a close call. Rich Lowry, National Review, 7 Nov. 2023 In the wake of this collision, various U.S. government agencies took on the responsibilities of space traffic control, tracking satellites and known large debris, alerting operators when a close call is coming. Jaime Green, New York Times, 5 Nov. 2023 The final political status was famously left open, and as a result the conflict remains unresolved and there have been harrowing recent close calls of resurgent conflict. Dahlia Scheindlin, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 Evansville Christian exhales after close call with South Knox The Evansville Christian Eagles defeated the South Knox Spartans 2-1 in an Indiana boys soccer game on Tuesday. Indy Star Sports, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'close call.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of close call was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near close call

Cite this Entry

“Close call.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

close call

: a narrow escape
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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