View synonyms for close call

close call

[ klohs ]


  1. a narrow escape from danger or trouble.

close call

/ kləʊs /


  1. another expression for close shave
“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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Word History and Origins

Origin of close call1

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85
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Idioms and Phrases

Also, close shave . Narrow escape, near miss. For example, That skier just missed the tree—what a close call , or That was a close shave, nearly leaving your passport behind . The first phrase dates from the late 1800s and comes from sports, alluding to an official's decision ( call ) that could have gone either way. The second, from the early 1800s, alludes to the narrow margin between closely shaved skin and a razor cut. (This latter usage replaced the much earlier equation of a close shave with miserliness, based on the idea that a close shave by a barber meant one would not have to spend money on another shave quite so soon.) Also see too close for comfort .
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Example Sentences

In the broader context of humanity’s fight against infectious disease, it’s fair to think of the coronavirus as a close call.

From Vox

There were close calls, low moments and embarrassing predicaments, such as Denver having to play without a quarterback.

What started as a peaceful morning of kayaking turned into a close call for two friends at Avila Beach.

Based on polling, it’s a close call whether it garners the 60 percent of the vote necessary to pass.

Avalanche professionals also share stories of close calls and mistakes to gather more data and learn how to prevent future fatalities.

I heard there was a close call on the set of Lone Survivor where your head was almost blown off?

During filming, one close call almost killed to the project.

Whether Ferdydurke or Transatlantic is his masterpiece is a close call.

In town, they had a close call while filming a bonfire attended by a group of 18-year-old kids.

The close call forced Gerhartsreiter to quit his $100,000-a-year job and go underground.

When she had finished they regarded her wonderingly, fully appreciating what a close call she had had.

They're all well now, 'cept Jake, and he'll come out all right, but we had a close call.

Here was a close call, which differed from many another in that the bounding ball was visible.

That was certainly a close call, and the bullet evidently whistled uncomfortably close to several of them.

It's day after to-morrow—a close call, but I'll make it all right.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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