close but no cigar

(redirected from nice try but no cigar)

close but no cigar

A phrase said when one is almost correct or successful but ultimately fails. Cigars were once commonly used as prizes or awards. You all had some very good guesses—close but no cigar.
See also: but, cigar, close

close but no cigar

A narrowly missed success, as in That ball was definitely out-close but no cigar. This interjection alludes to awarding a cigar to the winner of some competition, such as hitting a target. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: but, cigar, close

close but no cigar

or

nice try but no cigar

You say close but no cigar or nice try but no cigar to mean that someone is almost correct or that they have almost been successful, but are not quite correct or successful. He tried to break the record. It was close, but no cigar. Note: In the past, cigars were sometimes given as prizes at fairs. This expression may have been used if someone did not quite manage to win a prize.
See also: but, cigar, close