close to the wind

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

close to the wind (comparative closer to the wind, superlative closest to the wind)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see close to,‎ the,‎ wind.
  2. Near a limit of feasibility or compliance with law or morality.
    • 1983, Colin Watson, Six Nuns and a Shotgun, page 167:
      I mean, I shouldn't be altogether flabbergasted if you were to tell me that there had been tax fiddles here, or even something a bit close to the wind where the play and the girls are concerned.
    • 2000, David S. Bell, Presidential Power in Fifth Republic France, page 116:
      Coming on the heels of revelations about financial and property dealings a bit close to the wind in other sections of the Gaullist Party, the authority of the Prime Minister could not but be weakened

Adverb[edit]

close to the wind (comparative closer to the wind, superlative closest to the wind)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see close to,‎ the,‎ wind.
  2. (nautical) In a direction almost opposite to that from which the wind is blowing
  3. Near a limit of feasibility or compliance with law or morality.
    • 1850, F. W. Cukbey., “Against All Odds”, The Dublin university magazine, page 306: 
      Time you want a real good friend is when you're gone just a bit close to the wind, and want to be set right again.
    • 2003, Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon, page 150:
      Miriam's wordplay was steering fractionally too close to the wind for my liking.
    • 2004, James R. Acker, David C. Brody, Criminal Procedure: A Contemporary Perspective, page 422:
      This means, naturally, that a prosecutor anxious about tacking too close to the wind will disclose a favorable piece of evidence.
    • 2011, “Warnock slams ref as Dunne own goal gifts QPR point”, Irish Independent:
      As far as an FA charge goes, Warnock sailed closest to the wind in his initial, expansively voiced televised criticism of Oliver -- the youngest Premier League ref at 26