near miss

variants: or less commonly near-miss

Definition of near miss

1a : a miss (as with a bomb) close enough to cause damage
b : something that falls just short of success
2a : a near collision (as between aircraft)

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Synonyms for near miss


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Examples of near miss in a Sentence

After years of near misses, the team has finally won a championship. a near miss with death prompted him to give up skydiving
Recent Examples on the Web Its rushing totals in its two 2019 losses: 46 in the 23-17 near miss at Georgia, 47 in the 45-14 smackdown in the rain at Michigan. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame football: Offensive line challenges, potential are real," 5 Mar. 2020 Indeed, the races in Monroe and Ulster are among the district attorney races that the Justice and Public Safety PAC has invested in, including support of the Working Families Party during Tiffany Cabán’s near miss earlier this year in Queens. Jesse Mckinley, New York Times, "Soros Adds Intrigue and $800,000 to D.A. Race, Backing Progressive," 4 Nov. 2019 Since the 2017 near miss, federal authorities took immediate steps to improve safety at SFO. Matthias Gafni,, "SFO near-miss: Capt. ‘Sully’ pushes bill, says ‘biggest threats are runway related’," 8 Aug. 2019 The Democratic near miss in the Ohio special election augurs well for the party’s prospects in November. Li Zhou, Vox, "“A blue flood, more than just a wave”: 8 experts on midterm elections after the Ohio special election," 10 Aug. 2018 When Jacob Koos singled to extend the inning with his fifth hit of the Super Regional, Wilson came to the plate with a chance to make amends for his near miss a day earlier. Brett Friedlander,, "Stetson ends best season in school history with loss to UNC at Chapel Hill Super Regional," 9 June 2018 That is where the game stood for the next couple of hours, through Oakland’s near miss in the ninth inning, another threat in the top of the 10th and the Yankees’ getting a potential go-ahead run to third in the eighth. Wallace Matthews, New York Times, "Neil Walker Delivers a Yankees Win, but Give Brett Gardner the Save," 12 May 2018 The camerawork is a little shoddy, and the actual near miss happens just at the bottom of the screen, visible for only a few frames. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "CL-215 Scooper Gives Lucky Bystander a Haircut," 15 Aug. 2016

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

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First Known Use of near miss

1940, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for near miss

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The first known use of near miss was in 1940

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Cite this Entry

“Near miss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for near miss

near miss


English Language Learners Definition of near miss

: an attempt that is almost successful
: an accident that is just barely avoided
: a bomb that misses its target but still causes damage

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More from Merriam-Webster on near miss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for near miss

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with near miss

Nglish: Translation of near miss for Spanish Speakers

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