a close/near thing

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near thing

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

a close (or near) thing

a narrow avoidance of something unpleasant.
See also: close, thing

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
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 Players measure up, above, and left, ready for another game
Even with that weight it was a close thing because Rob Dyer weighed in just three ounces less.
While vote sales can start months in advance, who wins on the night of the show can be a close thing.
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.
In the end I chose Sunderland because I live in the area, and my daughter Lydia attended the university childcare - but it was a close thing, we almost never met.
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.
It was a close thing because I was going down for the third time.
Labour must come out with a statement about controlling immigration, otherwise they will lose Grimsby and it will be a very close thing with UKIP in Doncaster.