run (someone or something) close

(redirected from run them close)

run (someone or something) close

To nearly match or surpass someone or something in one's performance, skill, or ability. While he is still the undisputed master of filmmaking in my opinion, there are a few directors who run him close. She finished first to retain her championship title, but the favored newcomer ran her very close—just half a second behind her.
See also: close, run
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run someone close

1 almost defeat a person or team in a contest. 2 almost match the same standards or level of achievement as someone else.
See also: close, run, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run somebody/something ˈclose

(British English) be nearly as good, fast, successful, etc. as somebody/something else: Germany ran Argentina very close in the final.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
IT'S not terribly long since Limerick's ambitions stretched far beyond beating Clare, but they've run them close in each of the last three years, belying the two counties' respective League status, and face them again in the Gaelic Grounds this weekend.
The home side led 15-3 at the interval and appeared to be in complete control only for Quins to improve greatly in the second half and run them close.
They have a strong top five but I expect us to run them close."
0 ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger congratulated Chelsea on their Barclays Premier League title challenge - and maintained but for injuries his team would have run them close.
jjBath + 11 4pts 10-11 general Stade Francais have a crisis at scrum-half for their Heineken Cup match at home to Bath, and the Guinness Premiership side should run them close.
However, Ladbrokes' 9-2 shots Dumbarton will run them close.
"It's told us that if we can go to Manchester United and run them close, we've got nothing to fear from anyone.
But, don't forget, the Reds have run them close in the league, and it was always likely that whoever won the FA Cup tie at Highbury would end up in the final.
It's a huge ask for Tipp to even run them close, never mind win the Munster title.
"I've no doubt that Derry will run them close but the wider distractions is a worry for them."