near miss

or near-miss


noun

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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for near miss

near miss

noun

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

Idioms and Phrases with near miss

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.