from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A narrowly avoided collision involving two or more aircraft, ships, boats, or motor vehicles.
  • noun A missile strike that is extremely close to but not directly on target.
  • noun Something that fails by a very narrow margin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a miss which was nearly a hit or collision
  • noun by extension a scenario which ends safely but might well have ended in disaster
  • noun by extension an attempt which fails narrowly; a performance which falls just short of a certain benchmark

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an accidental collision that is narrowly avoided


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Blend of near thing and miss.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word near miss.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Had my toes been amputated, I would have joined the ranks of those who have received wrong site, wrong limb, wrong organ, and other unnecessary surgeries known as "never events," because the medical profession admits that they never should have happened. Error specialists, and there are many, might say that I had a "near miss," something health care is just beginning to study and learn from followin ghe example of the aviation industry.

    James B. Lieber, Killer Care: How Medical Error Became America's Third Largest Cause of Death, and What Can Be Done About It (New York: OR Books, 2015), Introduction

    March 1, 2016