close call


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

close call

verb
See also: call, close
References in periodicals archive ?
To achieve total anonymity, Close Call does not collect or capture any identifying information, such as name of the contributor, specific location where the contributor works, the date of the event being reported, etc.
Close Call contains Purified Water, Xylitol, Sorbitol, Vitamin C, Fructose, Shitake Mushroom Extract, Citric Acid, Vitamin B6, Copper Sulfate, and Natural Spice.
Rose said: "I have had a few close calls and sometimes you wonder why you can't get it done.
Harris Corporation , provider of the NFL's new high definition (HD) instant replay system, has created a realistic, hands-on exhibit that allows visitors to "go under the hood" and view the video images that referees are examining as they scrutinize close calls on the field.
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.
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.
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.
Mundus was luckier but once said: "I had a lot of close calls.
In the first minute of the second half, Iveagh regained their advantage and despite a few close calls, they held on to win the game.
John Smith, in fact, survived two close calls only because of Pocahontas' intervention, although there never was any romantic connection between the two (even if Disney and your elementary school teacher told you otherwise).
Even if the cranked-up LEP fails to nail down the particle before the machine's demise, the recent close calls could help guide a Higgs search slated to begin at Fermilab in the next few years, scientists say.