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Idiom of the day 'Close, but no cigar'

Average: 3.5 (46 votes)

Close, but no cigar

meaning: not being a winning or successful effort, as if not good enough to earn a cigar as a prize

This term is used when one almost meets with success, but not quite, therefore getting nothing in return. The expression started in the US in the twentieth century, and is said to originate from the practice of fairground stalls giving out cigars as prizes. This phrase would be said to those who failed to win a prize

"She made a good attempt at catching the baseball. Close, but no cigar."

"Actually my name is Jane not June. Close, but no cigar."

"Even though he got to the final round of interviews, he didn't get the job. He was close, but no cigar."

Link: Idiom of the day 'That's That'