Main definitions of miss in English

: miss1miss2miss3

miss1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Fail to hit, reach, or come into contact with (something aimed at)

    ‘a laser-guided bomb had missed its target’
    no object ‘he shot twice at the cashier, but missed both times’
    • ‘Most of his flyswatter punches missed their mark or were blocked.’
    • ‘Post-action photos told the Japanese they had missed the American carriers, the weapon they knew was the key to war at sea.’
    • ‘As Henry went to leave the room, Jack reached for him but missed Henry's arm.’
    • ‘But unfortunately for him, the bomb missed the target and exploded on the street.’
    • ‘The dust cleared to reveal the his punch missed Daniel's head by a hair and Daniel's hand had grabbed his face.’
    • ‘A beam of red-hot light seared past her, missing by mere inches.’
    • ‘Add to this eight passes that missed the receiver altogether and twice being in front of the kicker at the kick off.’
    • ‘Even if a Japanese bomb missed its target, it was likely to find something worth blowing up.’
    • ‘You know how the crowd gasps when a player misses an important putt?’
    • ‘His throwing of the ball is sensational and rarely misses the target intended.’
    • ‘Twice the big Englishman was presented with a gaping goal and the perfect ball but twice he somehow contrived to miss the target.’
    • ‘She started throwing wild punches but missed every time as he maneuvered around them.’
    • ‘You were quite lucky it was deep enough to reach your heart but missed it entirely.’
    • ‘Dale almost pulled a goal back on the hour when Kennedy took a wild swing at the back pass, missing it completely only for the ball to bobble wide to safety.’
    • ‘The enemy bombs missed the target and the naval base was saved.’
    • ‘She lashed out at him now, her arms and legs flailing wildly, her kicks and punches missing their target by a considerable margin.’
    • ‘But one of our spies told us that our bombs seemed to be missing their targets a lot lately, more than he could account for.’
    • ‘For some reason the attackers in the south appear to be very poor shots, and seem mostly to miss the target, failing to inflict any real damage.’
    • ‘If the target is missed to the right, the drier boards allow the ball to hook more, also sending the ball to the pocket.’
    1. 1.1 Pass by without touching; chance not to hit.
      ‘the plane narrowly missed the control tower’
      • ‘One car ended up in a field after skidding off the road and up a bank, narrowly missing a tree and telegraph pole.’
      • ‘Pedestrians in Tooting had a lucky escape after a car veered off the road and crashed into a shop, narrowly missing them.’
      • ‘The horse in its flight narrowly missed two telephone poles, but knocked over the bucket of water with which a woman was cleaning the front steps of her house.’
      • ‘A disabled driver says he is lucky to be alive after a pellet shot through his windscreen, narrowly missing his head.’
      • ‘Several windows have been smashed with what is believed to be an airgun; and on one occasion shards of glass narrowly missed one of the tenants.’
      • ‘The beat-up old car speeds through, the driver not caring for the innocent children as he narrowly misses them all.’
      • ‘I was flung out of control, and was narrowly missed a huge chunk of rock.’
      • ‘He said a woman driver narrowly escaped injury when a bin containing about 500 kg of rubbish just missed her car.’
      • ‘How he missed the parked car on the way in, I do not know.’
      • ‘The driver lost control and barrelled off the road narrowly missing one of the other jeeps as he did.’
      • ‘Poverty is the most commonly cited cause for India's missing women, but it's not the only one.’
      • ‘Police were also called to a building in Northgate in Wakefield city centre after the wind blew off part of the roof, narrowly missing a pedestrian.’
      • ‘A two-inch nut shattered the window and showered glass into the vehicle as it pulled up outside the school, narrowly missing pupils.’
      • ‘I still had 15 rounds in my ammunition belt and I was lucky that the shrapnel missed it.’
      • ‘For every time you bump into people in the street, there must be ten times as many when you just narrowly miss each other.’
      • ‘He somehow got around me and the truck and missed an oncoming car by a whisker.’
      • ‘Although the plane narrowly missed the Relais Bleu hotel, it completely destroyed the Hotelissmo next door.’
      • ‘First his family sought refuge in an abandoned building, narrowly missing two land mines.’
      • ‘So, my husband swerved to miss the vehicle in front.’
      • ‘The bullet narrowly missed her spine and passed through her body before lodging in Scott's left thigh.’
      fail to hit, be wide of, go wide of, fall short of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Fail to catch (something thrown or dropped)
      ‘Mandy missed the catch, and flung the ball back crossly’
      no object ‘Callison tried for a catch and missed’
      • ‘Thomas missed a back pass from Danny Brewster and Morris simply rolled the ball over the line from an angle.’
      • ‘After a few more passes, she missed the ball, and it bounced off behind her.’
      • ‘Apparently, a ways back, one of their players was bit by the wolf after missing a pass and rolling out of bounds.’
      • ‘I even scored on the next play when the first baseman missed the throw from third.’
      • ‘Havlat scored into an open net after Swedish defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson missed a pass in his end.’
      • ‘Krista misses the bullet pass and the pro-sized foot ball ricochets off the far fence and into the gutter.’
      fail to catch, drop, fumble, fluff, bungle, mishandle, misfield, mishit
      View synonyms
  • 2Fail to notice, hear, or understand.

    ‘the villa is impossible to miss—it's right by the road’
    ‘these questions miss the point’
    • ‘What Matt said in his last statement contains some good points but a lot of folks still miss the point about globalization.’
    • ‘To dwell on this, however, would be to miss the point.’
    • ‘The body of a man found in a canal is that of a missing student, police confirmed today.’
    • ‘But scientists involved in the studies say such interpretations of their research miss the point.’
    • ‘For you to not take any of that seriously is to completely miss the point.’
    • ‘We miss the point that the point of listening is just to listen.’
    • ‘Was it possible that Israeli intelligence could have missed something as important as this?’
    • ‘For some reason I miss the turn off for the country train arrivals.’
    • ‘Both referee Dunn and his linesman missed the contact and Henry was furious.’
    • ‘Don't miss the point of this: it's to scare anyone out of uttering any criticism.’
    • ‘Because we miss these things in passing, we come to think they are not there, or are not important.’
    • ‘But pitying her as an icon of suffering would miss the point.’
    • ‘Diana barely listened and missed the knowing looks passed between Emily and Virginia.’
    • ‘The critics who protest that he hasn't consulted the most recent speculations on the origins of life miss the point.’
    • ‘I thought that I had missed something and therefore contacted Caldera for a quick product update.’
    • ‘I stand by every word - I really do think the Tories have made a stupid mistake, and that they still miss the point about what they need to do.’
    • ‘But the commentary has also largely missed what seems to me a deeper point.’
    • ‘I closed my left eye and roamed the streets with my rifle, not missing a single movement over hours of watching.’
    • ‘Much of the debate around online, even alternative online, media in Australia continues to miss the point.’
    • ‘Now that this fact has sporadically appeared in media coverage, many people are still missing a very important point.’
    • ‘But these sorts of arguments miss the point, which is that these guys are doing what we want them to.’
    fail to hear, fail to take in, mishear, misunderstand
    fail to notice, fail to see, overlook, pass over, forget
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Fail to attend, participate in, or watch (something one is expected to do or habitually does)
      ‘Teague looks certain to miss England's match against Fiji’
      • ‘The whole school would come out and participate in what was an excuse to miss class.’
      • ‘On top of this, he also breaks his promise of no contact after Terry misses her date at the Empire State Building.’
      • ‘I fell asleep and missed it, after watching the whole series up to now.’
      • ‘Sutton will be without their try-scoring machine, winger Will Newman, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.’
      • ‘He's expected to miss the rest of the playoffs due to arthroscopic surgery.’
      • ‘Now school officials are faced with the task of tracking down students who missed classes.’
      • ‘Students who miss a class for any reason are required to complete all in-class assignments for that day outside of class.’
      • ‘However, those students who miss classes will forfeit their right to a grant.’
      • ‘He was expected to miss the first two matches, against Sri Lanka on Thursday and India on Saturday, but it looks as though he may face an even longer lay-off.’
      • ‘He is expected to miss the remainder of the British flat season.’
      • ‘Those who miss any of the episodes can watch them on Fridays.’
      • ‘Students who miss classes will often borrow another student's notes, presumably on the assumption that any notes are better than none.’
      • ‘The class meets five times all semester and supposedly if you miss one class you fail.’
      • ‘This way the student who misses class for a field trip or a university sponsored event is not penalized as long as said student is regular in attendance the rest of the semester.’
      • ‘I'll ask how a student who misses class follows up on the absence.’
      • ‘Earlier today, headteachers warned they would take a tough line on pupils who missed school to attend the demonstration.’
      • ‘This time slot allows leaders to attend without missing other important sessions during the week.’
      • ‘As a recent survey of seven universities shows, 80 per cent of students say they are not to blame if they miss classes.’
      • ‘University courses are routinely recorded and put online for students who miss class or for those who cannot afford to attend full time.’
      • ‘Though this student had missed a few classes, she cited no health or family crisis.’
      fail to attend, be too late for, absent oneself from, be absent from, play truant from, take french leave from, cut, skip, omit
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Be too late to catch (a passenger vehicle or the post)
      ‘we'll miss the train if he doesn't hurry’
      • ‘‘Only yesterday I nearly missed the ferry and had to pedal like a lunatic to get on,’ he laughed.’
      • ‘Although Clifton Bridge is not on the route he is likely to have taken to catch his bus, he often went to stay with a friend in Clifton if he missed the last bus home.’
      • ‘My cohort whispered a few things conspiratorially to me about how if I had missed the ferry, all I'd have to do is pay them to let me go, and then I was out.’
      • ‘I ended up missing my bus so i decided to go to the library and do some math.’
      • ‘Dozing off, he wakes up to find that he has missed the latest bus.’
      • ‘I had just missed the direct bus, but one with an easy transfer soon came along.’
      • ‘This unnamed reporter found that he had just missed the mail boat carrying letters from America to Britain.’
      • ‘Just a few days ago, he didn't offer a ride to a teenage church member who missed his school bus.’
      • ‘He talked of how the Kottayam bus stand reminded him of his mimicry days, since he even used to sleep there, after having missed the last bus to Kochi.’
      • ‘The morning started with groans - Neil about his face and jaw, me because I'd missed my bus to Edinburgh and didn't feel very clever.’
      • ‘For example, there might be occasions when an executive had been late at the airport and narrowly missed a flight.’
      • ‘Well, if you let me see your ticket, I'll make sure you two girls get on the right train so you don't miss your ferry.’
      • ‘Because she missed the shuttle bus home, he brought her to his dorm, thinking it would not be safe to let a young woman spend a whole night in a bar.’
      • ‘The scheme includes a pledge that if a passenger misses a bus because it is running more than one minute early they will be able to claim back a free ticket.’
      • ‘I arrived at the Sofia bus station early Friday evening with a Bulgarian friend of mine and, of course, missed the first bus.’
      • ‘For the last week I've found myself in a bit of bother getting to work on time because I keep missing my bus.’
      • ‘I had just missed some vehicles which were going to Mporokoso and so I had to jump on a private light truck.’
      • ‘I ran back up the hill to the bus stop, but there was no bus; I decided to walk to the next stop and missed a bus when I was half-way between the two stops.’
      • ‘As a consequence, he missed his helicopter ride to Bolton.’
      • ‘I kept most of them in 5 minutes or so, but they were all whining about missing their buses so I had to let them go.’
      be too late for, fail to catch, fail to get
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 Fail to see or have a meeting with (someone)
      ‘‘Potter's been here this morning?’ ‘You've just missed him.’’
      • ‘It seemed everyone was going to be late to work, miss a big meeting, miss a guest coming in from out of town.’
      notice the absence of, find missing
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4 Not be able to experience or fail to take advantage of (an opportunity or chance)
      ‘don't miss the chance to visit the breathtaking Dolomites’
      no object ‘he failed to recover from a leg injury and missed out on a trip to Barcelona’
      • ‘With the technology and experience at our disposal, it would be unforgivable to miss this historic opportunity.’
      • ‘Would you be willing to share the details with all of us who love your humor but miss these chances to experience it first hand?’
      • ‘I urge you to not to miss the chance to experience one of the world's premier guitarists up close at a local venue.’
      • ‘Labor missed the opportunity to cope with and prepare for globalization in the early 1970's when it began.’
      • ‘He never misses the opportunity to put across the views of grass roots farmers to the major decision makers.’
      • ‘She's fiercely proud of her roots there and never misses an opportunity to promote her native place.’
      • ‘Of course there's one place that never misses an opportunity to party!’
      • ‘If they moved away, they lost rights to cheaper education and missed out on job opportunities.’
      • ‘Youngsters won't want to miss a chance to meet Father Christmas and pass on that top-secret information: what they want for Christmas.’
      • ‘They'd missed out on the steam engine and virtually every other scientific and industrial advance.’
      • ‘The anti-war protests had been organised as an opportunity for those who missed out on the 1.5 million strong march in London last month.’
      • ‘The First Minister never misses an opportunity to talk about what he calls ‘the great game’.’
      • ‘But I think people are really missing an opportunity here.’
      • ‘He rarely misses an opportunity to remind me of in the fact that he is some years my junior!’
      • ‘Looking back, are there any opportunities you missed out on that you can see now but didn't realize then?’
      • ‘If you don't know who your high value customers are, you may be missing opportunities.’
      • ‘Yet the vice president's real missed opportunity came in the Democratic-trending Northeast.’
      • ‘Essentially, Bruce is discontented with nearly everything in his life, and rarely misses an opportunity to complain about it.’
      • ‘It's a shame you Brits are missing out on this one.’
      • ‘Our lives are too brief to miss out on such delights.’
      fail to take advantage of, fail to grasp, fail to seize, fail to take, let slip, let go, let pass, forfeit, pass up, lose out on, overlook, disregard
      View synonyms
    5. 2.5 Avoid; escape.
      ‘Christmas shoppers go out early to miss the crowds’
      avoid, beat, evade, escape, dodge, sidestep, elude, get round, circumvent, steer clear of, give a wide berth to, find a way round, bypass, skirt, cheat, duck
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6 (of a woman) fail to have (a monthly period)
      ‘how many periods have you missed?’
      no object ‘I think I'm pregnant—this is the second time I've missed’
      • ‘An eighteen-year-old girl goes to see her mum and tells her that she has missed her period for two months.’
      • ‘My boyfriend and I decided to use condoms, and they worked well until a few months later when I missed my period.’
      • ‘However, by the time a woman has missed her first period, she is already two weeks pregnant, so it's best to prepare for a pregnancy before trying to conceive.’
      • ‘Philip had dumped her after finding out she missed her period for the month.’
      • ‘Today's pregnancy tests can confirm a pregnancy even before a woman has missed her period, and most women wanting abortion care want it as soon as possible.’
      • ‘A month later, when she missed her period, she knew he'd left something behind.’
      • ‘Well there is nothing cool about a young girl missing a period and finding herself pregnant before she's had the chance to grow up herself.’
      • ‘I asked her what the problem was, and she told me that she had missed her period, and had checked herself out with a pregnancy kit, and that it had proved positive.’
      • ‘You miss your menstrual period and confirm with a doctor that you're pregnant.’
      • ‘She had missed her monthly and Elizabeth was now very sure that a baby was on the way.’
      • ‘An eighteen year old girl tells her Mother that she has missed her period for the past two months.’
      • ‘When she had missed her period later that month she knew instantly that it was because she was pregnant.’
      • ‘Pregnancy tests are very accurate and can usually detect pregnancy from the time a woman misses her first period - approximately two weeks after conception.’
      • ‘I did not miss my periods, so I am definitely not pregnant.’
      • ‘While not a sure sign that you're pregnant, missing a period can sometimes be a key symptom in telling if you're pregnant.’
      • ‘Check with your doctor if your periods are more than 35 days apart or if you miss several periods.’
      • ‘At this four-week point, the woman may miss her first period, and may have a positive pregnancy test.’
      • ‘When the following month came and went, she missed her period again.’
      • ‘The embryo has actually implanted before the woman misses her first period.’
      • ‘Thuy knew right away that she was pregnant, and she did not hesitate but went to the hospital just a week after she had missed her period.’
      leave out, exclude, fail to include, except, miss, miss off, fail to mention, pass over, skip
      View synonyms
  • 3Notice the loss or absence of.

    ‘he's rich—he won't miss the money’
    ‘she slipped away when she thought she wouldn't be missed’
    • ‘That's the thing the media has never asked: didn't you miss the money?’
    • ‘I traced it on his computer, I can get into it with a bit of effort, and because he's dead he'll never miss the money and sound the alarm.’
    • ‘Jim Lauchlan's absence was not missed as Sean Hessey also kept it tight in the middle.’
    • ‘We hadn't missed the money we were paying the lawn service, but we noticed it when we stopped.’
    • ‘so king is out of pocket. like thatcher he is probably wealthy enough not to miss the money, but for a short period of time he has lost again!’
    notice the absence of, find missing
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Feel regret or sadness at no longer being able to enjoy the presence of.
      ‘she misses all her old friends’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed by his family and many friends.’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed by his family, numerous nieces and nephews, and many, many friends he has made throughout the years.’
      • ‘Personally, I would miss my girls too much if I gave it up.’
      • ‘I haven't seen him since August, when he ended it and I miss the jerk.’
      • ‘She will be sadly missed by her family, relatives and friends.’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed by his family, relatives and friends.’
      • ‘She will be sadly missed by her family, neighbours and friends.’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed and deeply mourned by his sorrowing family.’
      • ‘She is sorely missed by her family, her colleagues, and her friends throughout the world.’
      • ‘Old stock of the area, he will be sadly missed by family members and friends.’
      • ‘He was a great character and a marvellous storyteller and will be sadly missed by his family, neighbours and many friends.’
      • ‘Brian will be sadly missed by his family and close friends.’
      • ‘People miss their families, that's just natural - but it is part of Army life.’
      • ‘He was a loving member of our family and will be sorely missed by both family and friends.’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed by his family and all who knew him.’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed and greatly mourned by his sorrowing family and friends.’
      • ‘She will be sadly missed by her family and close friends.’
      • ‘A generous and good natured person, she was a lovely neighbour and friend and she will be very sadly missed by her family and close friends.’
      • ‘He will be sadly missed by his devoted family and many friends.’
      • ‘Both men will be sadly missed by their families and friends.’
      pine for, yearn for, ache for, long for, long to see, regret the absence of, regret the loss of, feel the loss of, feel nostalgic for, need
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2 Feel regret or sadness at no longer being able to go to, do, or have.
      ‘I still miss France and I wish I could go back’
      • ‘Harry twisted his hands together in his lap, already missing the contact.’
      • ‘Tell them I miss having a supportive crowd, and I miss the laughs.’
      • ‘I miss eye contact, facial expressions and seeing the natural world in all its glorious colour and detail.’
      • ‘I really, really miss the smell of bread baking.’
      • ‘We hope that she's alive, but we really miss just seeing her, knowing what's going on.’
      • ‘I must say that though I miss the contact with friends, I'm not really missing my London life at the moment.’
      • ‘I miss those summer nights escaping from the heat in my back office at Lakeview.’
      • ‘Melanie held him in her embrace, savoring the feel of her arms around him, a feel she'd missed the last month.’
      • ‘I enjoy it when you touch me, but I'm not sure if that's just because I miss physical contact.’
      • ‘I miss contact with the German woman who printed and distributed 5 copies of my essays to her friends.’
      • ‘Ok, I missed the bread and coffee but it still went down well.’
      • ‘She missed seeing his bright smile that would bring one to everyone's face.’
      • ‘I'll miss the day-to-day contact with students.’
      • ‘Yes, I still craved my bread and missed my orange juice.’
      • ‘She didn't mind that, but she sorely missed just being by herself, alone with her thoughts.’
      • ‘I put my hand on his chest and pushed him away from me a little, immediately missing the contact.’
      • ‘I had missed seeing the familiar faces and how everyone called each other neighbor.’
      • ‘Several times throughout the night I wished I could become a hermit, before realizing how I would miss human contact.’
      • ‘Definitely, because although he likes his job with England there are only about eight or nine games a year and I think he misses the day-to-day contact you get from club football.’
      • ‘Rangers fans cannot be expected to miss something they have never had.’
      pine for, yearn for, ache for, long for, long to see, regret the absence of, regret the loss of, feel the loss of, feel nostalgic for, need
      View synonyms
  • 4no object (of an engine or motor vehicle) undergo failure of ignition in one or more cylinders.

    ‘the motor began missing and investigation found a cracked cylinder head’
    • ‘I was just looking for the entry form in the paper when the plane's engine started missing and spluttering.’
    • ‘A Barnes technician could even hear the engine missing over his cellphone.’

noun

  • 1A failure to hit, catch, or reach something.

    ‘the penalty miss cost us the game’
    • ‘Many of the misses were from frees including a penalty.’
    • ‘The Hearts captain, who later backed John Robertson to be Levein's successor, is prepared to pay a penalty himself for the miss.’
    • ‘It was also an innings of great catches and easy misses.’
    • ‘Town paid the penalty for those misses on 60 minutes when a Fleetwood corner was met by a cavalry charge of attackers with Philip Thompson getting in first to head home.’
    • ‘Dundee should have gone on to win handsomely, but for two truly dreadful misses.’
    • ‘The penalty miss in this game was obviously the turning point.’
    • ‘However, they left it late to make their mark and were also thankful for a penalty miss by Arnold at a crucial stage.’
    • ‘However, Byrom then atoned for his penalty miss by drilling home a 25 yard free kick to make the score 3-1.’
    • ‘Waddle is often remembered for his penalty miss in Turin and that criminally overshadows a tremendous performance by the former sausage factory worker in the game.’
    • ‘It was a dreadful miss and certainly proved a costly one.’
    • ‘Ten minutes from the end King made up for his dreadful miss with a terrific right-foot curler which sailed into the top corner.’
    • ‘Tyrone took heart from the miss and finished as strongly as they started.’
    • ‘Alas, one of the biggest came in the 1994 World Cup final, when his penalty miss handed the trophy to Brazil.’
    • ‘Scartaglin were left to regret five or six good scoring chances which they had in the first half in particular and these misses ultimately cost them the game.’
    • ‘With a second miss by Howarth it was 10-0 to Boroughmuir.’
    • ‘He also had to hold his hands up afterwards to a glaring miss late in the game.’
    • ‘After the penalty miss, he twice put the ball wide from close range before eventually finding the net in the 87th minute.’
    • ‘The penalty miss was met with silence - apart from the French visitors, who were in ecstasy.’
    • ‘And then Ulster paid the penalty for those misses when the Saints again paid a rare visit upfield for Grayson to level with an angled kick.’
    • ‘After Brewster had been fouled on the edge of the box, Sauzee stepped up, determined to banish the memory of his penalty miss.’
    • ‘He had been listless, short of stamina and unable to make his mark on the match, all of which is more troubling than his miss in the penalty shoot-out.’
    failure, omission, slip, blunder, error, mistake, fiasco
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An unsuccessful record or film.
      ‘it is the public who decide whether a film is a hit or a miss’
      • ‘With the band stretching out into extended jams with re-arranged tempos and rhythms, the misses occur much less often than you might imagine.’
      • ‘There are a few misses here too, though the biggest problem is that the LP's uniformity, which makes some tracks seem less than engaging.’
      • ‘Having had her share of flops and misses, the dimpled actress is finally calling the shots and choosing the films she wants to.’
      • ‘None of this means Hollywood studios will stop trying to make hit movies and make misses instead.’
      • ‘A filmmaker with as many misses as hits, like all great producers, Korda knew that to get ahead in the film business, you had to spend other people's money.’

Phrases

  • give something a miss

    • informal Decide not to do or have something.

      ‘we decided to give the popcorn a miss’
      • ‘It's not somewhere you'd want to find yourself after dark (and maybe you'd feel safer giving it a miss during the day too).’
      • ‘Missing from the equation is Grandpa, who probably decided to give this movie a miss and stay in bed.’
      • ‘The Melbourne organisers have put together a men's challenge event to replace this week's world championship, but with considerably less prize money and no ranking points, the big players are understandably giving it a miss.’
      • ‘But, after waiting ten minutes without seeing any sign of a sweets menu, we decided to give it a miss.’
      • ‘We decided to give this area a miss, as it all seemed a bit confusing, and opted instead for a glide along the companionway at the side of the car-deck, with blue light flooding in from now glassless windows.’
      • ‘I've considered giving the machine a miss, but I think that would be a cop out and I wouldn't feel right about that.’
      • ‘Even though the 19-year-old hearthrob has dedicated the tour to his fans as a thank - you for their support, he will be giving his home city a miss because it does not have a big enough venue.’
      • ‘The Americans decided to give the island a miss.’
      • ‘I would give them a miss in future despite their apparent value for money.’
      • ‘They spawn in February and it's best to give them a miss for a few months after that, until about June when they start to fatten up again.’
      avoid, keep away from, stay away from, steer clear of, circumvent, give a wide berth to, keep at arm's length, fight shy of
      View synonyms
  • miss a beat

    • 1(of the heart) temporarily fail or appear to fail to beat.

      • ‘She would say her heart would miss a beat when she heard of an idea from me.’
      • ‘Every morning, I nervously check the mail, every morning, my heart misses a beat.’
      • ‘A typical pacemaker sends small electrical charges to the right atrium of the heart, which receives blood, and the right ventricle, which pumps it into the lungs, if the device senses the heart has missed a beat or is beating too slowly.’
      • ‘Whilst they weren't exactly throwing things about my heart missed a beat with every bang and crunch.’
      • ‘Paula, a Waterside community nurse and mum to two-year-old Eamon, has got used to her heart missing a beat when the phone rings.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, it was difficult to stop my heart from missing a beat or two when I read the headline: Small plane crashes into Florida building.’
      • ‘With a tearing sound a wide gash was introduced on the surface of the wonderful cloth and with it her heart missed a beat.’
      • ‘Shuddering at this, my heart missing a beat or two, my breathing becoming heavier, there's an even nastier surprise still waiting for me.’
      • ‘Suddenly he stiffened and his heart missed a beat.’
      • ‘I've never had a fanciable doctor who made my heart miss a beat.’
    • 2usually with negativeHesitate or falter, especially in demanding circumstances or when making a transition from one activity to another.

      ‘the Swiss handle metres of snow without missing a beat’
      • ‘In the first days, anti-globalization protesters made new signs and became the anti-war movement without missing a beat.’
      • ‘I swear, for the most part, people just passed by, glanced his way, then continued walking wherever they were going, not missing a beat.’
      • ‘She is supremely confident that he can't fail to notice her and sure enough a crack appears in his concentration and the music shifts noticeable to a simpler tune without missing a beat.’
      • ‘The first was the variety of the programme, and the way the choir switched from accessible classical music to Broadway, spirituals, jazz and carols, and from high seriousness to sophisticated comedy, without missing a beat.’
      • ‘‘Because it makes me look pretty,’ said Bourne, without missing a beat.’
      • ‘However, Burns seems to feel that she made the transition to film without missing a beat, even to the point of acting as post-production supervisor.’
      • ‘He juggles a complex cast with consummate ease, moving the story from the tense to the surreal - often within the same story - without missing a beat.’
      • ‘Without missing a beat, he moved on to the next table…’
      • ‘It's the lightness of touch that I'll miss, the sureness with which a Frasier script could go from drawing-room comedy to sheer farce to tragedy without missing a beat.’
      • ‘Just the other day, when I was looking a little rumpled, Joe looked and me and, without missing a beat, told me, ‘Steve, you look like a bush man!’’
  • miss the boat (or bus)

    • informal Be too slow to take advantage of an opportunity.

      ‘people who've been holding off buying anything in case prices drop further could find they've missed the boat’
      • ‘Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, and you could be completely missing the boat.’
      • ‘Rather, they are deeply concerned they may have missed the boat, in relation to the opportunities opened up by the new global economic order.’
      • ‘I really do think the politicians are missing the boat here.’
      • ‘If a dealer isn't using that advantage in the marketplace, then he's missing the boat.’
      • ‘‘Unless we understand the financial arrangement, and not look at the student loan program in isolation from the funding arrangement, then we're really missing the boat,’ she said.’
      • ‘Like many other aspects of the industry, they are missing the boat on technological advances that you all need to be a part of.’
      • ‘With Premiership crowds at record levels, Leeds are missing the boat.’
      • ‘Life is passing you by and you are in danger of missing the bus, as they say.’
      • ‘Because it is now so easy to work together virtually, not doing so is not only missing an opportunity, it is missing the boat.’
      • ‘The telecom industry is still missing the boat and does not realize we can talk with anybody everywhere almost for free.’
  • a miss is as good as a mile

    • proverb The fact of failure or escape is not affected by the narrowness of the margin.

      • ‘She did an amazing presentation of Nokia's CSR approach and a knock-your-socks-off interview and was in the final two but a miss is as good as a mile.’
      • ‘The frequency of near-misses and the infrequency of real disasters - Chernobyl being the only one we know about for sure - signifies either that nuclear power is an intolerably dangerous technology and we're living on borrowed time, or that ‘defense in depth’ works and a miss is as good as a mile.’
  • not miss a trick

    • informal Never fail to take advantage of a situation.

      ‘despite his great wealth, John didn't miss a trick when it came to cutting costs’
      • ‘He is not as demonstrative, but he did not miss a trick.’
      • ‘Spurway does not miss a trick when it comes to publicity.’
      • ‘He did not miss a trick.’
      • ‘In the trade you would say he does not miss a trick.’
      • ‘It was the year Argentina invaded the Falkands and not long after the Iranian embassy siege and Telfer, a master of applied metaphor, a keen student of history and a man who saw rugby as another branch of warfare, did not miss a trick.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • miss someone/something out

    • Fail to include someone or something; omit.

      ‘I'm sure Guy will fill in any bits I missed out’
      • ‘You probably started on 1st January, tried really hard for a week, got a bit bored, missed a day out, then gave up before February started.’
      • ‘I am sure I have forgotten someone, please let me know if I missed you out.’
      • ‘The sentences do not sound any worse if the word is missed out.’
      • ‘It doesn't fit together, it does miss tracks out and it is muddled up.’
      • ‘If I made a mistake, or missed someone out, please let me know.’
      • ‘When we were at the event and they got to the top ten I thought we had been missed out, so it was a surprise for us to come fourth.’
      • ‘In fact it took nine months of doing nothing before I could really ride again, and in total I missed a whole year out.’
      • ‘By the middle of last week I was beginning to wonder if they'd missed me out, but oh no.’
      • ‘If I have missed your blog out, having promised you a link, please drop me a line and I'll sort it out.’
      • ‘An estimate of how many crimes have been missed out (methodology approved by the Home Office) is available here.’
      • ‘I have problems with my cognitive reasoning which means when I am tired and stressed I start to miss words out from everyday conversation but it does not mean I am stupid.’
      • ‘Whilst this is an intelligent and well-argued proposal, I couldn't help thinking that something had been missed out.’
      • ‘All of a sudden you're missing letters out all over the place!’
      • ‘A careful introduction to the questions is needed, and respondents should be given the choice to miss them out altogether if they feel uncomfortable.’
      • ‘People say they have been missed out for more than a month - and items left for collection end up being blown around the roads.’
      • ‘Eight trains a day will go from the timetable, some services will stop short of their original destination, and some stations will be missed out from routes.’
      • ‘The waiters were clumsy to the extent of walking in to people and dropping things, and forgetful, missing people out when pouring wine.’
      • ‘Suddenly I realised he'd missed someone out, a girl who looked only a little older than me and whose desk was at the back of the room tucked into the corner.’
      • ‘It should come at 8.10 am but sometimes it goes a different way and misses me out completely.’
      • ‘I knew I had missed something out in this opinion, now I realise that I didn't mention sex education.’

Origin

Old English missan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German missen.

Pronunciation

miss

/mɪs/

Main definitions of miss in English

: miss1miss2miss3

miss2

noun

  • 1MissA title prefixed to the name of an unmarried woman or girl, or to that of a married woman retaining her maiden name for professional purposes.

    ‘Miss Hazel Armstrong’
    • ‘When I came to the ‘title’ field I asked was it Mrs., Miss or Ms. She laughed and said ‘It's Doctor, actually’.’
    • ‘Some organisations decide to give all women the title Miss unless they are known to be married and prefer the more traditional Mrs.’
    • ‘Roy held his hand out to Sydney again, ‘Excuse me, I didn't catch you're name before, Miss…?’’
    • ‘Good morning, Misses Wessons and Mister Linwood.’
    • ‘Whoever it was had called her Adaela before; they knew her name and used it familiarly, without any prefix of Lady, or even Miss or Mistress.’
    • ‘The best part about tomorrow will be when Miss (name withheld to protect the innocent) comes to collect her brand new convertible car.’
    • ‘Myself and a girl named Blanche Jackson used to tend Miss Appleby's garden in Millfield Road.’
    • ‘Hello Mister and Misses customer, how may I help you two today?’
    • ‘He accepts meeting Miss A outside work but denied any improper conduct took place.’
    • ‘The New York Times, for example, stopped using titles like Mrs and Miss with the names of women.’
    1. 1.1 Used in the title of the winner in a beauty contest.
      ‘Miss World’
      • ‘Imagine, in Botswana they are having a beauty contest to choose Miss HIV!’
      • ‘The Miss Photogenic and Miss Teen Tourism titles went to Cape town's Chantal Le Roux and Armenia's Mery Esajan.’
      • ‘Neha was also titled as Miss Photogenic and Miss Fresh Face.’
      • ‘Added this year was the Miss Muscle Beach Beauty Pageant.’
      • ‘Surely, the organisers who knew well in advance that there was a tie for the Miss personality and a Viewers Choice Winner should have prepared themselves better.’
      • ‘Currently, the top ten in the ‘People's Choice’ category are Misses Albania, Australia, Brazil, India, Macedonia, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Thailand and Venezuela.’
      • ‘It is unfortunate that Laxmi Pandit had to give up her Miss India-World 2004 title following the controversy over her marital status.’
      • ‘Thursday gone, Christine Straw won the Miss Jamaica Universe 2004 title!’
      • ‘The NIEC School of Business 2006 beauty pageant takes place at the New Savoy Hotel in Ndola tomorrow with seven entrants vying for the Miss NIEC title.’
      • ‘And on that note, don't write about world peace or what you want to do about the AIDS virus; this isn't a Miss Teen USA or beauty pageant.’
      • ‘The crowning ceremony for Miss January and February is held in the casino - Misses March to December get selected at a later event - and Sir Freddy Laker, who lives on the island, arrives to anoint the winners.’
      • ‘The club will organise a Miss Kasama beauty contest to be officiated by First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa at Kasama Golf Club.’
      • ‘A Miss Congeniality Beauty Pageant will be held on 30 September at the Waterford Crystal Social Centre, Cork Road, from 8 till late.’
      • ‘Miss World Beach Beauty and Miss World Sports have been crowned.’
      • ‘Last year, foreign students were not allowed to take part in Miss UNAM, the university's annual beauty pageant.’
      • ‘Former Miss Cork Catríona Supple went on to win the Miss Ireland title in 2002.’
      • ‘She is a life member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Toastmaster, and even a judge for the Miss Texas / Miss Abilene Beauty Pageant.’
      • ‘Regular readers will remember the picture of a well-known city face with a Miss York beauty queen.’
      • ‘In it she played Gracie Hart, a scruffy FBI agent, who went undercover at a Miss United States beauty pageant.’
      • ‘The Miss Artificial Beauty contest, aka Miss Plastic Surgery is over.’
    2. 1.2 Used as a polite form of address to a young woman or to a waitress or female shop assistant.
      ‘‘Where will you be staying in England, miss?’ asked the Immigration man’
      • ‘Why don't you return at another time, Miss, A time when there are no appointments?’
      • ‘Hello, my name's Belinda and what would you like to have today Sir, Miss?’
      • ‘The security guard addressed her repeatedly with an annoying ‘You okay, Miss?’’
      • ‘Just then, she saw a pair of black leather boots step in front of her, as a somewhat amused male voice asked, ‘Are you all right, Miss?’’
      • ‘I gave her my best get-away-from-me face and asked, ‘How may I help you, Miss?’’
      • ‘‘I'm sorry, Miss, but you can't be here,’ she told me as she started to drag me back towards the barriers.’
      • ‘I haven't any idea, and he isn't giving me anything to go off of, Miss.’
      • ‘‘Sir Marcus has ordered that you are to be taken back to Broadshire Manor at once, Miss,’ the driver explained.’
      • ‘I would remind you to think only of your own affairs, Miss!’
      • ‘‘Hello there Miss, what can I get you,’ the girl asked cheerfully.’
      • ‘Sorry about the inconvenience, Miss, but for now we don't know who you are or what you're doing with them.’
      • ‘I'm sorry, Miss, but I have no intention of ever letting you find out.’
      • ‘I'm sorry about what happened to your father, Miss.’
      • ‘Would you like me to carry this in for you, Miss?’
      • ‘If you'd rather not endure my company, Miss, I espied a friend of mine on my way to this coach and can most certainly impose upon him.’
      • ‘Excuse me, Miss, but where did you get those pants?’
      • ‘As you wish, Miss, If you want to get down, that is what you'll get.’
      • ‘How long have you been out here in the rain, Miss?’
      • ‘‘Thanks a lot, Miss,’ the driver said rather cheerfully and drove off.’
      • ‘‘I would not worry, Miss,’ he said with a shaky smile.’
    3. 1.3British Used by children in addressing a female teacher.
      ‘please, Miss, can I be excused hockey?’
      • ‘To those who stay, all instructors will be addressed as Mister or Miss.’
      • ‘My impertinent classmate chimed in: ‘What, Miss, is a good mark for a parachute packer?’’
      • ‘It's all about education, education, education - and by the way, Miss, the dog ate my homework?’
      • ‘"Oh, I'm sure he did, Miss", Jenny replied solemnly, but her grin only grew wider.’
      • ‘Thursday brought awkward questions from the kids, such as ‘Why do we have wars, Miss?’’
  • 2A girl or young woman, especially one regarded as silly or headstrong.

    ‘there was none of the country bumpkin about this young miss’
    • ‘‘Well hello, young miss,’ a man who looked to be in his late years greeted with a smile.’
    • ‘Then with a smile, he looked over at her and said, ‘Young miss, would you explain it to me?’’
    • ‘A very young miss handed him a bouquet of flowers, which he accepted with a broad smile.’
    • ‘Anyway, if the young miss above should visit, she'd fit right in!’
    • ‘It is at this site that I found the young miss pictured here.’
    • ‘But now, young miss, we need to get you back on your feet and get you moving.’
    • ‘I spoke only half in jest when I said that the young miss might tell us something of history.’
    • ‘This young miss was eliminated on Eliminations night once more.’
    • ‘I believe that you had better get back to your mistress, young miss.’
    • ‘I turn to the birthday boy's niece: a carefully made up young miss in a matching pink crocheted cap and poncho.’
    young woman, young lady, girl, schoolgirl, slip of a girl
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: abbreviation of mistress.

Pronunciation

miss

/mɪs/

Main definitions of miss in English

: miss1miss2miss3

miss3

noun

informal
  • A miscarriage.

    ‘she had a miss, that time, lost the baby’

Pronunciation

miss

/mɪs/