close call

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close call

1. A narrow escape from or avoidance of a situation, often an unfavorable or dangerous one. It was a close call, but I managed to avoid hitting the deer that ran directly in front of my car.
2. A decision or judgment that is difficult to make due to each possibility being nearly equal in one's consideration. I'm sorry, it really was a close call, but we've decided to go with another candidate for this position.
3. A contest or competition whose winner is not clear due to very close competition or results that are difficult to distinguish. With the two candidates having nearly equal amounts of delegates, this election is going to be a very close call.
See also: call, close

close call

Also, close shave. Narrow escape, near miss. For example, That skier just missed the tree-what a close call, or That was a close shave, nearly leaving your passport behind. The first phrase dates from the late 1800s and comes from sports, alluding to an official's decision ( call) that could have gone either way. The second, from the early 1800s, alludes to the narrow margin between closely shaved skin and a razor cut. (This latter usage replaced the much earlier equation of a close shave with miserliness, based on the idea that a close shave by a barber meant one would not have to spend money on another shave quite so soon.) Also see too close for comfort.
See also: call, close

a close call


a close thing

COMMON If you describe an event as a close call or a close thing, you mean that someone very nearly had an accident or disaster, or very nearly suffered a defeat. `That was a close call,' said Bess, as the boat steadied. It was a close thing and, looking back now, I have no doubt that if my friend hadn't acted so promptly, I'd be dead.
See also: call, close

a ˌclose ˈshave/ˈcall

(informal) a situation where a disaster, an accident, etc. almost happens: We didn’t actually hit the other car, but it was a close shave.Phew! That was a close call — she nearly saw us!
See also: call, close, shave

close call

See also: call, close
References in periodicals archive ?
A key feature of Close Call is it maintains the anonymity of the people who provide information.
Hoping to reduce the risk of close calls and plane collisions on the ground, Los Angeles World Airports began construction Monday on a two-year, $333 million project to reconfigure LAX's south runway and taxiways.
Close call: Oaks Christian of Westlake Village has advanced to a Southern Section championship game each of the past three seasons, but the Lions had a close call in Tuesday's second-round victory over Monrovia.
A look back at how we did with our Hotlist, several close calls on primary night could yield recounts and Ted Cruz reports a big February fundraising haul - all that and more in the latest issue of our subscriber-only newsletter for political insiders ($).
Rose said: "I have had a few close calls and sometimes you wonder why you can't get it done.
Before UCLA went on its memorable - not to mention unexpected - run to the NCAA title game last season, there were the early-season close calls against powerhouses Wagner and Drexel.
The software program costs about $18,000 per plane and was developed in response to Federal Aviation Administration concerns over runway accidents and close calls.
In some safety-challenged environments, close calls for miners in these situations happened on a regular basis.
Chapters recount the story of his service from his dreams of flying, to training, his first mission, terrible close calls, the end of the tour, and coming home after the war.
Operators have reported numerous close calls, when vehicles have come close to hitting our equipment or workers," said Gary Berreth, operations director for the transportation department.
The Butcher and Matt Dyke were instigating mandatory roll-ins, resulting in many close calls and one full contact between the Butcher and a dropping-in Dober.
Citing efforts to improve the way medical errors and close calls are reported by healthcare workers and handled by administrators, the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard University awarded VA one of its annual Innovations in American Government awards.
In the 75 years since, KFEQ has never missed a day of broadcasting the midday market update, according to Farm Director Tom Brand, although there were some close calls.
CLOSE calls for both sides in the first five minutes set the pattern for this tight-run tussle.
And as Mose Buchele of KUT News reports for StateImpact Texas, that means Texans can expect another summer of close calls.