Definition of close but no cigar in English:

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close but no cigar

North American informal (Of an attempt) almost but not quite successful: they didn’t catch him in the car—close but no cigar
Referring to a cigar received in congratulation
More example sentences
  • Despite demographic changes, all signs are that it will be another case of close but no cigar.
  • These fall into the ‘close but no cigar’ category.
  • It's a worthy effort: close but no cigar.
See parent entry: cigar
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