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close, but no cigar

close, but no cigar in Culture

Close, but no cigar definition

Even a near miss is still a miss. The saying probably originated with carnival contests in which a cigar was the prize for hitting a target.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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