near miss

noun
variants: or less commonly near-miss
|Updated on: 22 Jun 2018

Definition of near miss

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

Examples of near miss in a Sentence

  1. After years of near misses, the team has finally won a championship.

  2. a near miss with death prompted him to give up skydiving

Recent Examples of near miss from the Web

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.

First Known Use of near miss

1940

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

near miss Synonyms

Synonyms

close call, close shave;

Near Antonyms

misfire;

Related Words

squeaker;

Phrases

hairbreadth escape, narrow escape, near escape;


NEAR MISS Defined for English Language Learners

near miss

Definition of near miss for English Language Learners

  • : an attempt that is almost successful

  • : an accident that is just barely avoided

  • : a bomb that misses its target but still causes damage



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

subject to rapid or unexpected change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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