Close, but no cigar
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.
How to use Close, but no cigar in a sentence
Hopefully not overly close, but we talk about it in the episode how similar it is.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS|Marlow Stern|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The two strengthened ties over the years and now Krauss considers Epstein a “close” and “considerate” friend.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking|M.L. Nestel|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Ney said McDonnell needs to “keep a stiff lip” and stay in close contact with family members.Abramoff’s Advice for Virginia’s New Jailhouse Guv|Tim Mak, Jackie Kucinich|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
I got to work on all of it—and Epstein kept close tabs on me.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Or has the see and hear and speak-no-evil stance of the Republican House persuaded him that he is in the clear?
Squinty could look out, but the slats were as close together as those in a chicken coop, and the little pig could not get out.Squinty the Comical Pig|Richard Barnum
On the upper part of the stem the whorls are very close together, but they are more widely separated at the lower portion.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin
It was close upon twelve o'clock, and the "Rooms" had been open to the public for two hours.Rosemary in Search of a Father|C. N. Williamson
In the close relation and affection of these last days, the sense of alienation and antagonism faded from both their hearts.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
The young men gathered round him and offered him a cigar, which he accepted and began to smoke.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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]