- a narrow escape
- a near-death experience
- an accident that could have been eluded
- a shave in which the hair is cut very short or close to the skin (literally)
A person who survives a close shave closely avoids being killed or endangered to other forms of disaster. A close shave is an idiom that refers to the image of a barber shaving a client with a straight-edge razor, which is tremendously sharp and can be fatal if not used properly. The barber shaves a man’s beard as carefully as possible to get rid of disaster without cutting him.
- I had a close shave last month. A motorist almost knocked me off my bike.
- In the last few days, I have experienced a lot of close shaves in my life.
- Moses has experienced three car accidents, including a few close shaves, while on his way to work.
- John Scott has had a close shave with a scarring Pleasanton bag.
- It was a close shave for foreign tourists as their moving bus suddenly caught fire.
The idiom “close shave” has been used for more than a hundred years. Words related to close shave include close, close reach, close season, close ranks, close-reefed, close shot, closestool, closet, close drama, and close stitch. The phrase “a close shave” first appeared between 1825 and 1835, which was referred to as Americanism.