close

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English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English closen (to close, enclose), partly continuing (in altered form) earlier Middle English clusen (to close) (from Old English clȳsan (to close, shut); compare beclose, foreclose, etc.), and partly derived from Middle English clos (close, shut up, confined, secret, adjective), from Old French clos (close, confined, adjective), from Latin clausus (shut up, past participle), from claudere (to bar, block, close, enclose, bring an end to, confine), from Proto-Indo-European *klāw- (key, hook, nail), related to Latin clāvis (key, deadbolt, bar), clāvus (nail, peg), claustrum (bar, bolt, barrier), claustra (dam, wall, barricade, stronghold). Cognate with Ancient Greek κλείς (kleís, bar, bolt, key), German schließen (to close, conclude, lock), Dutch sluiten (to close, conclude, lock). Partially replaced Old English lūcan (to close, lock, enclose), (whence English lock). Doublet of clause.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

close (third-person singular simple present closes, present participle closing, simple past and past participle closed)

  1. (physical) To remove a gap.
    1. (transitive, intransitive) To move a thing, or part of a thing, nearer to another so that the gap or opening between the two is removed.
      Synonyms: close up, shut
      Antonym: open
      Close the door behind you when you leave.
      Jim was listening to headphones with his eyes closed.
      The runner in second place is closing the gap on the leader.
      to close the ranks of an army
    2. To obstruct or block.
      Synonyms: close off, close up, shut, shut off
      Antonym: open
      The road was closed for the festival.
    3. (transitive, intransitive, engineering, gas and liquid flow, of valve or damper) To move to a position preventing fluid from flowing.
    4. (transitive, intransitive, electricity, of a switch, fuse or circuit breaker) To move to a position allowing electricity to flow.
    5. To grapple; to engage in close combat.
      • 1856-1858, William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Phillip II
        They boldly closed in a hand-to-hand contest.
  2. To finish, to terminate.
    1. (transitive) To put an end to; to conclude.
      Synonyms: close down, complete, end, finish, wind up, wrap up
      Antonyms: begin, commence, initiate, start
      close the session;   to close a bargain;   to close a course of instruction
    2. (intransitive) To come to an end.
      Synonyms: end, finish, wind up, wrap up
      Antonyms: begin, commence, start
      The debate closed at six o'clock.
    3. (intransitive, of a business) To cease trading for the day.
      Synonym: shut
      Antonym: open
      The supermarket closes at eight o'clock.
    4. (ergative, marketing) To conclude (a sale).
    5. (transitive, baseball, pitching) To make the final outs, usually three, of a game.
      He has closed the last two games for his team.
    6. (ergative, computing) To terminate an application, window, file or database connection, etc.
      Synonym: exit (an application)
      Antonyms: launch (an application), open, start (an application)
      Close the file when you have finished reading data.
      This app has a bug: when you try to sort a large spreadsheet, it closes.
    7. (transitive, finance) To cancel or reverse (a trading position).
  3. (chiefly figurative) To come or gather around; to enclose.
    Synonyms: encompass, confine
  4. (surveying) To have a vector sum of 0; that is, to form a closed polygon.
  5. (intransitive) To do the tasks (putting things away, locking doors, etc.) required to prepare a store or other establishment to shut down for the night.
    Whoever closed last night forgot to turn off the closet light.
  6. (Philippines) To turn off; to switch off.
    Please close the lights.Please turn off the lights.
    Close the fan please.Please switch off the fan.
    Close the TV now.Turn off the TV now.
Usage notes[edit]

Due to the near-opposite meanings relating to fluid flow and electrical components, these usages are deprecated in safety-critical instructions, with the words to "on" or to "off" preferred, so instead of Close valve A; close switch B use Turn valve A to OFF; turn switch B to ON.

Conjugation[edit]
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Phrasal verbs and conversions formed from them
Compound words and expressions
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

close (plural closes)

  1. An end or conclusion.
    We owe them our thanks for bringing the project to a successful close.
  2. The manner of shutting; the union of parts; junction.
  3. (sales) The point at the end of a sales pitch when the consumer is asked to buy.
    Synonym: closer
    • 1983, Charles B. Roth, Roy Alexander, Secrets of Closing Sales, page 110:
      Regardless of the situation, the minute you feel it's time for the close, try it.
  4. A grapple in wrestling.
  5. (music) The conclusion of a strain of music; cadence.
  6. (music) A double bar marking the end.
  7. (aviation, travel) The time when checkin staff will no longer accept passengers for a flight.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
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Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French clos, from Latin clausum, participle of claudō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

close (comparative closer, superlative closest)

  1. (now rare) Closed, shut.
  2. Narrow; confined.
    a close alley; close quarters
  3. At a little distance; near.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter VII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      [] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
    • 2013 June 1, “End of the peer show”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 71:
      Finance is seldom romantic. But the idea of peer-to-peer lending comes close. This is an industry that brings together individual savers and lenders on online platforms. Those that want to borrow are matched with those that want to lend.
    Is your house close?
  4. Intimate; well-loved.
    He is a close friend.
    1. (law) Of a corporation or other business entity, closely held.
  5. Oppressive; without motion or ventilation; causing a feeling of lassitude.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      If the rooms be low-roofed, or full of windows and doors, the one maketh the air close, [...] and the other maketh it exceeding unequal.
    • 1921, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter X, in Indiscretions of Archie:
      He sighed drowsily. The atmosphere of the auction room was close; you weren't allowed to smoke; and altogether he was beginning to regret that he had come.
  6. (Ireland, UK, weather) Hot, humid, with no wind.
  7. (linguistics, phonetics, of a vowel) Articulated with the tongue body relatively close to the hard palate.
  8. Strictly confined; carefully guarded.
    a close prisoner
  9. (obsolete) Out of the way of observation; secluded; secret; hidden.
  10. Nearly equal; almost evenly balanced.
    a close contest
  11. Short.
    to cut grass or hair close
  12. (archaic) Dense; solid; compact.
  13. (archaic) Concise; to the point.
    close reasoning
    • 1690, John Dryden, Translations (Preface)
      Where the original is close no version can reach it in the same compass.
  14. (dated) Difficult to obtain.
    • 1886, “Leases of Lands in the Indian Territory”, in United States Congressional Serial Set, volume 2362, page 184:
      Some of these parties have not paid their last payment, because money was close last fall.
    • 1903, Gunton's Magazine of American Economics and Political Science, page 249:
      We are told out West that the reason money is so close now is because so large an amount has been invested in real estate. I cannot understand why that would make any difference if that money has been sent from one section of the country into another for the purpose of buying real estate. Why should it make any difference as to money being close? We are told in the East large amounts have been invested in the large manufacturing plants, such as the steel plants, etc. but if the money has been invested there it has simply changed hands, and why should that make any difference?
    • 1965, Country Life - Volume 137, page 326:
      But there is reason underlying this confusion: time as well as money is close these days and a small wardrobe of hats can be very boring.
    Money is close.
  15. (dated) Parsimonious; stingy.
    • 1820, John Keats, “Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil. A Story from Boccaccio.”, in Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, London: [] [Thomas Davison] for Taylor and Hessey, [], →OCLC, stanza XVII, page 57:
      Yet were these Florentines as self-retired / In hungry pride and gainful cowardice, / As two close Hebrews in that land inspired, / Paled in and vineyarded from beggar-spies; [...]
    • 1837, Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe”, in Twice-Told Tales, volume I:
      [...] he was a crusty old fellow, as close as a vice.
    • 1852 March – 1853 September, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1853, →OCLC:
      Though a hard-grained man, close, dry, and silent, he can enjoy old wine with the best. He has a priceless bin of port in some artful cellar under the Fields, which is one of his many secrets.
  16. Adhering strictly to a standard or original; exact.
    a close translation; a close copy
  17. Accurate; careful; precise; also, attentive; undeviating; strict.
    The patient was kept under close observation.
    • a. 1705, John Locke, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding”, in Posthumous Works of Mr. John Locke: [], London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], published 1706, →OCLC, page 90:
      I must acknowledge that hitherto I have discover’d no other way to keep our Thoughts cloſe to their Buſineſs, but the endeavouring as much as we can, and by frequent Attention and Application, getting the habit of Attention and Application.
  18. Marked, evident.(Can we add an example for this sense?)
  19. Almost, but not quite (getting to an answer or goal); near
    No, but you were close.
    We were so close to winning!
  20. (heraldry, of a bird) With its wings at its side, closed, held near to its body (typically also statant); (of wings) in this posture.
    An eagle close.
    • 1780, Joseph Edmondson, A Complete Body of Heraldry:
      Crest, a cockatrice, wings close, vert, combed and wattled gu.
    • 1894, Henry Gough, James Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, page 215:
      Sable, an eagle close or - ROPER, Derby. / Sable, a chevron ermine between three eagles close argent - GAMES, Leicester, granted 1614. / Sable a chevron between three eagles close argent - JERVOISE.
    • 1902, Lincoln's Inn (London, England), The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn, page 458:
      Arms : Azure, a chevron ermine between three cross - crosslets fitchy argent. Crest : An eagle close argent, ducally gorged.
Synonyms[edit]
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Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

close (plural closes)

  1. (now rare, chiefly Yorkshire) An enclosed field, especially a field enclosed around a (usually religious) building.
  2. (chiefly British) A street that ends in a dead end.
  3. (Scotland) A very narrow alley between two buildings, often overhung by one of the buildings above the ground floor.
  4. (Scotland) The common staircase in a tenement.
    • 2022, Liam McIlvanney, The Heretic, page 279:
      The woman nodded at a nearby flight of steps. 'This is my close. We can talk in here. Come on.'.
  5. A cathedral close.
  6. (law) The interest which one may have in a piece of ground, even though it is not enclosed[1]
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Irish: clós
  • Welsh: clos

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Bouvier (1839), “CLOSE”, in A Law Dictionary, [], volume I (A–K), Philadelphia, Pa.: T. & J. W. Johnson, [], successors to Nicklin & Johnson, [], →OCLC.

Anagrams[edit]

French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

close

  1. feminine singular of clos

Verb[edit]

close

  1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive of clore

Participle[edit]

close f sg

  1. feminine singular of clos

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

close

  1. plural of cloth

Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

close m (plural closes)

  1. (photography) close-up (photography in which the subject is shown at a large scale)
    Synonym: close-up
  2. attitude