adj. A symbolic description used to indicate when one thing is extremely close to another or when an event is imminent.
Next flight's not for a couple of hours. Go home. Half undress. Go to bed. Oversleep. Jump up. Race to car. Snow's still falling. Ice is thicker, slicker. From the top of the hill next to my apartment, I watch with dismay as a station wagon just yards ahead loses control, ending up thisclose to a tree.
—Cynthia McMullen, “When life brings you snowflakes,” The Richmond Times-Dispatch, January 10, 2002
1982 (earliest)
[T]he Bucs' Williams (12) is thisclose to putting everything together."
—“He's the master of disaster” (photo caption), Sports Illustrated, September 01, 1982
This term is based on the idiomatic gesture of holding one's thumb and forefinger very close together while saying emphatically that one thing was "this close" to another.
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