Definition of nearly man in English:

nearly man


  • Someone who narrowly fails to achieve the success or position expected of them in their particular field.

    ‘he was destined to be one of the game's nearly men’
    • ‘This is undoubtedly the case but without the second world war he would now surely be a tangential figure, a nearly man.’
    • ‘Thus he joins the long roster of nearly men, those who got close but didn't get the cigar, who for one reason or other missed out on the ultimate prize.’
    • ‘But only last Tuesday did he advance from being a nearly man to a squad member.’
    • ‘The victory ended McEwen's tag as the nearly man of this year's Tour.’
    • ‘His side gained plaudits for their considered football and some careful tinkering of the squad over the summer, could see Rochdale make the leap from nearly men to serious contenders.’
    • ‘At long, long last - golf's perennial nearly man, wins his first major.’
    • ‘Munster and Leinster have got to show that they are no longer nearly men.’
    • ‘We played some good football but in the end we were the nearly men.’
    • ‘It is a tremendous bonus and you can't tag us as being nearly men.’
    • ‘It was either the decisive moment of the Tory leadership election campaign or the last hurrah of a politician shortly destined to join the nearly men of British politics.’
    • ‘He had become something of a nearly man this summer, having been named in the squad for the first four Tests of the summer without getting on to the field.’
    • ‘Mac was destined to be the nearly man his entire life.’
    • ‘‘We don't want to be nearly men we want something tangible as evidence of our improvement,’ said the Leinster skipper.’
    • ‘In his own words, Pearce is a nearly man, a player who never quite reached the pinnacle, who lost in too many semi-finals, who never won titles.’