a close thing
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Related to a close thing: near thing
a close (or near) thinga narrow avoidance of something unpleasant.
a close/near ˈthing,
a close-run ˈthing(informal)
1 a competition, an election, a race, etc. which you only just succeed in winning: I know we won, but believe me, it was a near thing. They could easily have beaten us.
2 a punishment, an accident, etc. which you only just avoided: The police searched the house but they didn’t find him. It was a close-run thing.