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.
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Words nearby Close, but no cigar
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]