Dictionary.com

Close, but no cigar

Save This Word!

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with Close, but no cigar

close but no cigar

A narrowly missed success, as in That ball was definitely out—close but no cigar. This interjection alludes to awarding a cigar to the winner of some competition, such as hitting a target. [Slang; early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!