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Avoid these words. Seriously.

near miss

or near-miss

a strike by a missile that is not a direct hit but is close enough to damage the target.
an instance of two vehicles, aircraft, etc., narrowly avoiding a collision.
something that falls narrowly short of its object or of success:
an interesting movie, but a near miss. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for near miss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I should be very glad to be near miss Emma of course, and always am.'

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • I would have liked to be near miss Desmond, as I wished to draw her out further in regard to her political principles.

    In Hostile Red Joseph Altsheler
  • That seat behind the new little girl was the only vacant one in the room located at all near miss Brown's desk.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely
  • near miss Dayton's home a fine private school had been opened, which offered every advantage for girls of Randy's age.

  • Sometimes—after, say, a near miss on the polo field—he would wonder how polite and dignified the great old days actually had been.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • She was too angry to notice how near miss Campbell and Elinor were sitting to the open door.

  • Years back, an Invader bomber had scored a near miss on the building, and minor damage to stonework was unrepaired.

  • For that reason I should like to come back here to school next year and be near miss North.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
British Dictionary definitions for near miss

near miss

a bomb, shell, etc, that does not exactly hit the target
any attempt or shot that just fails to be successful
an incident in which two vehicles narrowly avoid collision
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with near miss

near miss

A narrowly avoided mishap; also, an attempt that falls just short of success. For example, It was a near miss for that truck, since the driver had crossed the center strip into on-coming traffic, or Her horse kept having a near miss in every race, so she decided to sell it. This expression originated during World War II, when it signified a bomb exploding in the water near enough to a ship to damage its hull. Soon afterward it acquired its present meanings.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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