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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use near miss in a sentence
The near miss shaped how she thought about sight, light, and darkness, and it guided her into a career studying marine bioluminescence.
We had near misses in the 90s and a few in the early aughts.Why We New Orleanians Keep Coming Back After Every Storm | Maurice Carlos Ruffin | September 2, 2021 | Time
X was then warned of the near miss via a correspondent who had worked with him in the past.
A recent study by solar physicists points out that we had a near-miss with a strong solar storm back in 2012.
“A near miss” as the VA doctor familiar with the case described it.
If the 2000 Florida recount felt like a multi-car collision, then 2012 was a near-miss.Obama Needs to Embrace Voting Reform in 2013 State of the Union | Michael Waldman, Lawrence Norden | February 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
We avoided the Great Depression and it was a pretty near-miss.
A short covered way near miss Pritchard's desk gave access to the adjoining Chapel.Mushroom Town | Oliver Onions
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
Mr. Winthrop Latham stood near miss Stuart, assisting her to serve the tea.The Automobile Girls in the Berkshires | Laura Dent Crane
The young lady in charge kept a careful hand near miss Gwenny's, who was instructed or guided to increase the current gradually.Somehow Good | William de Morgan
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
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.