One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A narrow avoidance of something unpleasant.
- ‘He managed to put out a hand to the wall just in time, but it was a near thing.’
- ‘It was a near thing this time.’
- ‘It was a close thing, but he managed to miss the vein by a hair.’
- ‘It was a close thing for me too, but I was young, and have a healthy heart and I lasted the whole half-hour of assault.’
- ‘It was a near miss as far as I was concerned, a close thing.’
- ‘That was a close thing and even more dramatic than the story as told here on Saturday.’
- ‘Theodosius also built a second set of walls around Constantinople (it had been a near thing with the Visigoths) and made Christianity the official religion of the Empire.’
- ‘The Franks had had a near thing after the Field of Blood, but Tyre and Azaz had somewhat redressed the balance.’
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