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

or

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

verb
See also: call, close

close call/shave, a

A narrow escape, a near miss. Both phrases are originally American. The first dates from the 1880s and is thought to come from sports, where a close call was a decision by an umpire or referee that could have gone either way. A close shave is from the early nineteenth century and reflects the narrow margin between smoothly shaved skin and a nasty cut from the razor. Both were transferred to mean any narrow escape from danger. Incidentally, a close shave was in much earlier days equated with miserliness. Erasmus’s 1523 collection of adages has it, “He shaves right to the quick,” meaning he makes the barber give him a very close shave so that he will not need another for some time. Two synonymous modern clichés are too close for comfort and too close to home.
See also: call, close
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the very few seats with a close call, NA-259 (Dera Bugti-cum-Kohlu-cum-Bharkhan-cum-Sibi-cum-Lehri) was won by Jamhoori Watan Party's Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti with a margin of 1,574 votes while 11,508 votes were rejected in the constituency.
Clark said the company's decision to opt for Engine Alliance engines was "a very close call".
"So they consider this a rather close call but they are very pleased that some 800 people have indeed survived."
The full scale of the crisis facing the Black Country society and its fight for survival has been revealed by chief executive Robert Sharpe, who said: "It was a close call. We could have gone the same way as Dunfermline."
"A close call is an unplanned incident that doesn't cause personal injury or property damage but might have under different circumstances," Colonel Tribo said.
So we keep a constant radar watch." Telefonica Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking recalled his own close call which could easily have been a catastrophic collision after the fog rolled in.
KORNATI KID denied the front-running Will Be Done in a close call for the Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby.
"Close Call" centers around Jack Doyle, a man with a shady past who still has strong connections with many powerful people.
The modern Republican Party has shown itself to be, once again, the master of the close call. Reversing a double-digit deficit in the generic congressional polls three weeks before the election, facing near certain loss of both the House and Senate, the party strategically abandoned its most vulnerable candidates in order to target a massive wave of negative ads on just enough districts and states to retain a miniscule majority in both houses.
Singapore's close call with SARS in 2003, its famously hot and humid climate, and its proximity to politically delicate situations, require new initiatives previously unseen in healthcare design.
That close call would not have come to pass in the first place if the U.S.
Their search for a "mice" home (with a well-stocked refrigerator) will lead them into one exciting adventure and harrowing close call after another, in this upbeat and delightful narrative.
Dash's close call with a life-threatening illness and his remarkable recovery offers hope to others.
the story of his "close call," as he referred to it.
He abruptly stopped having sex after what he felt was a close call. However, a few months later he calmed down: "I finally [realized that] I'm free, and I'm not going to deny myself as long as I'm trying to be smart about it."