a close/near thing
Something just barely effected, as in That election was a near thing-he won by a handful of votes. [Mid-1700s]
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.