near miss


variants or less commonly near-miss
: a miss (as with a bomb) close enough to cause damage
: something that falls just short of success
: a near collision (as between aircraft)

Example Sentences

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 And a near miss between Earth and Mars could cause much of the Martian crust to be ripped off by Earth’s gravity, pulling thousands of meteors onto our planet. Douglas Fox, Discover Magazine, 2 Apr. 2015 For an asteroid headed toward Earth, that could be enough to change a direct hit to a near miss. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 26 Sep. 2022 For a dangerous oncoming asteroid, that nudge could be enough to change the trajectory from a direct hit to a near miss. Kenneth Chang,, 25 Sep. 2022 The near miss for Vos, the most powerful Republican in Wisconsin politics, shows just how crucial that endorsement can be in the land of cheese and election rejection., 10 Aug. 2022 Rui Farias, executive director of the St. Petersburg Museum of History, told the Tampa Bay Times after Hurricane Irma’s near miss in 2017 that many people still believe it. Curt Anderson, Orlando Sentinel, 26 Sep. 2022 The near miss radicalized John Fogerty and began haunting his compositions. Elizabeth Nelson, WSJ, 19 Aug. 2022 The report of an apocalypse near miss came as a wake-up call to Reagan. Evan Thomas, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 One thing Larson doesn’t have on his plate is time to dwell on his near miss last year at Pocono Raceway. Dan Gelston, ajc, 23 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1940, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of near miss was in 1940

Dictionary Entries Near near miss

Cite this Entry

“Near miss.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on near miss

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