close call

\ ˈklōs- How to pronounce close call (audio) \

Definition of close call

: a narrow escape

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for close call


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 Sectional week started with a dominant performance on Wednesday in a win over rival Lawrence Central, followed by the close calls against Attucks and Warren Central. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "It was the hottest basketball sectional. Then attendees started dying of coronavirus.," 18 Apr. 2020 Nonetheless, the apparent close call sparked a flurry of worries worldwide among officials and politicians whose jobs require meeting with members of the public and counterparts from all over the world. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, "The coronavirus pandemic makes inroads into the highest echelons of world politics," 13 Mar. 2020 Outside of the close call against North Carolina in which the Tigers had to stop a two-point conversion to win, their margin of victory has been 38, 14, 35, 42, 31, 35 and 45 in the rest of their games. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Week 11 observations: Alabama doesn't deserve Playoff spot, but that doesn't mean it won't get one," 10 Nov. 2019 The Brewers have had close calls over the years, including perhaps the most famous example in 2008, but every year seems to take us farther from the possibility that Juan Nieves' feat can be matched. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Juan Nieves records the Brewers' only no-hitter," 28 Apr. 2020 Paul Hester, who's worked for the county ambulance service since 1972, said one person from Quitman County has died in an ambulance while on the way to a neighboring county since 2016 -- and there have been other close calls. Collette Richards, CNN, "Rural hospitals are facing financial ruin and furloughing staff during the coronavirus pandemic," 21 Apr. 2020 After a few close calls, Otani gets the win but in controversial fashion. cleveland, "100 greatest wrestling matches to watch over WrestleMania weekend," 3 Apr. 2020 The Bears escaped what almost looked like another close call. Destine Gibson, Dallas News, "Jared Butler leads No. 1 Baylor to 19th straight win, ends Bears’ struggles vs. Kansas State," 4 Feb. 2020 And in a really, really close call, San Francisco’s Smokin’ Warehouse Barbecue beat Emeryville’s Pig in a Pickle, which also has a location in Corte Madera, by one vote. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "Vote: Best Bay Area barbecue? Here’s the Savory 16," 30 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler for close call

Time Traveler

The first known use of close call was in 1881

See more words from the same year

Statistics for close call

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Close call.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for close call

close call

How to pronounce close call (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of close call

: an escape that was almost not successful

close call

\ ˈklōs- How to pronounce close call (audio) \

Kids Definition of close call

: a barely successful escape from a difficult or dangerous situation

More from Merriam-Webster on close call

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for close call

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!