a close thing

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a close thing

1. An unpleasant, dangerous, or disastrous event or outcome that one narrowly avoids. No one was hurt in the accident, but it was a close thing—if the fuel tank had been hit, we all would have died. It was a close thing, but thankfully the surgeons managed to remove the cancerous tissue before it spread to other parts of my body. The last-minute deal will avert a government shutdown, but it will have been a close thing.
2. A very narrow outcome or margin of success or failure. After finding out I got the job, I learned from a friend within the company that it was a close thing due to the yearlong gap in my résumé. It is expected to be a close thing in the final moments of the presidential election.
See also: close, thing
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a close (or near) thing

a narrow avoidance of something unpleasant.
See also: close, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: close, near, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
There were six troopers and six of us, so it was a close thing, but we emptied four of their saddles at the first volley.
CLOSE THING Reporter Peter Davidson with photo of US superstar Ariana Grande
Even with that weight it was a close thing because Rob Dyer weighed in just three ounces less.
The judge said it was a "very, very close thing" but a prison sentence could be suspended on this occasion.
Nelson says the competition raises "anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000." While vote sales can start months in advance, who wins on the night of the show can be a close thing. "At the event it can get a little crazy, especially if you've got people who are really close; they're two or ten dollars apart--then people really push for their favorite to win, which is the best of all possible worlds for us," she says.
WEAKNESSES It's a close thing between being nicely experienced and over the hill.
"It was a very close thing between him and Richard Jones as to who played the first game.
It has been a very close thing, but Mr Silvester and the references, and the fact you have been offered some work, have persuaded me to suspend it."
They, like most other teams, have been impregnable at home and against the Pune team they will want to win big to improve their net run rate since it looks like it could well be a close thing for the race for the fourth place.
The vote on the Castle Hill inn was a close thing but one reason for refusal is, at best, fantasy.
Bangor manager Neville Powell has never lost a game during his time in charge but it was a close thing yesterday.
"I know there are some who have watched Boyd's second goal on TV who think it may have been offside but it was a close thing and I've no problems with the decision."
It gained Ilkeston their first victory in 10 attempts, but was a close thing. The visitors recovered well from an 8-1 defeat the previous week.
Have they failed to notice that we have the lowest unemployment in the EU outside Germany (but close thing ), both for under 25s and adults?
It was a close thing. The surgeons told me that if I had waited any longer to come in, I could have lost both legs or even died.