close, but no cigar


Also found in: Acronyms.

Close, but no cigar.

Cliché Some effort came close to succeeding, but did not succeed. (Alludes to not quite winning a cigar as a prize.) Jill: How did you do in the contest? Jane: Close, but no cigar. I got second place.
See also: but, cigar

close, but no cigar

almost but not exactly what you had hoped for or wanted Vince never got that big win he wanted - it was always close but no cigar.
Etymology: from games of skill or chance in which the person who won would get a cigar as a prize
See also: but, cigar

Close, but no cigar.

  (American & Australian humorous)
something that you say to someone if what they tell you or what they do is nearly correct but not completely
Usage notes: A cigar (= a type of thick cigarette) was sometimes used as a prize in games and competitions people paid to play.
'Is his name Howard?' 'Close, but no cigar. It's Harold.'
See also: but, cigar

Close, but no cigar

(klos...)
phr. Close, but not close enough to win a prize! Close, but no cigar! Give it another try.
See also: but, cigar