verb (used with object), closed, clos·ing.

  1. to put (something) in a position to obstruct an entrance, opening, etc.; shut.
  2. to stop or obstruct (a gap, entrance, aperture, etc.): to close a hole in a wall with plaster.
  3. to block or hinder passage across or access to: to close a border to tourists; to close the woods to picnickers.
  4. to stop or obstruct the entrances, apertures, or gaps in: He closed the crate and tied it up.
  5. (of the mind) to make imperceptive or inaccessible: to close one’s mind to the opposite opinion.
  6. to bring together the parts of; join; unite (often followed by up): Close up those ranks! The surgeon closed the incision.
  7. Electricity. to complete (an electrical circuit) by joining the circuit elements: The circuit was closed so the current could be measured.
  8. to bring to an end: to close a debate.
  9. to arrange the final details of; to conclude negotiations about: to close a deal to everyone’s satisfaction.
  10. to complete or settle (a contract or transaction); consummate: We close the sale of the house next week.
  11. to stop rendering the customary services of: to close a store for the night.
  12. to terminate or suspend the operation of; to halt the activities of: The epidemic forced authorities to close the schools. The police closed the bar for selling liquor to minors.
  13. Nautical. to come close to: We closed the cruiser to put our injured captain on board.
  14. Metalworking. to reduce the internal diameter of (a tube or the like).
  15. Archaic. to shut in or surround on all sides; enclose; cover in: to close a bird in a cage.

verb (used without object), closed, clos·ing.

  1. to become closed; shut: The door closed with a bang. This window is stuck and will not close tight.
  2. to come together; unite: Her lips closed firmly.
  3. to come close: His pursuers closed rapidly.
  4. to grapple; engage in close encounter (often followed by with): We closed with the invaders shortly before sundown.
  5. to come to an end; terminate: The service closed with a hymn.
  6. to cease to offer the customary activities or services: The school closed for the summer.
  7. to enter into or reach an agreement, usually as a contract: The builder closed with the contractor after negotiations.
  8. (of a theatrical production) to cease to be performed: The play closed in New York yesterday and will open in Dallas next week.
  9. (of a stock, group of stocks, etc.) to be priced or show a change in price as specified at the end of a trading period: The market closed low for the fourth straight day.

adjective, clos·er, clos·est.

  1. having the parts or elements near to one another: a close formation of battleships.
  2. compact; dense: a close texture; a close weave.
  3. being in or having proximity in space or time: The barn is so close to the house that you can hear the animals. His birthday is in May, close to mine.
  4. marked by similarity in degree, action, feeling, etc.: This dark pink is close to red. He left her close to tears.
  5. near, or near together, in kind or relationship: a flower close to a rose; a close relative.
  6. intimate or confidential; dear.
  7. based on a strong uniting feeling of respect, honor, or love: a close circle of friends.
  8. fitting tightly: a close, clinging negligee.
  9. (of a haircut or shave, the mowing of a lawn, etc.) so executed that the hair, grass, or the like is left flush with the surface or very short.
  10. not deviating from the subject under consideration.
  11. strict; searching; minute: The matter requires close investigation.
  12. not deviating from a model or original: a close, literal translation.
  13. nearly even or equal: a close contest.
  14. strictly logical: close reasoning.
  15. shut; shut tight; not open: a close hatch.
  16. shut in; enclosed.
  17. completely enclosing or surrounding: a close siege preventing all escape.
  18. without opening; with all openings covered or closed.
  19. confined; narrow: close quarters.
  20. lacking fresh or freely circulating air: a hot, close room.
  21. heavy; oppressive: a spell of close, sultry weather.
  22. narrowly confined, as a prisoner.
  23. practicing or keeping secrecy; secretive; reticent: She is so close that you can tell her all your secrets.
  24. parsimonious; stingy: He is very close with his money.
  25. scarce, as money.
  26. not open to public or general admission, competition, etc.: The entire parish participated in the close communication.
  27. (of a delimiting punctuation mark) occurring at the end of a group of words or characters that is set off, as from surrounding text: close parentheses; close quotes; close brackets.Compare open(def 32).
  28. Hunting, Angling. closed(def 8).
  29. Phonetics. (of a vowel) articulated with a relatively small opening between the tongue and the roof of the mouth.Compare high(def 23), open(def 35a).
  30. Heraldry. (of a bird) represented as having folded wings: an eagle close.
  31. Archaic. viscous; not volatile.


  1. in a close manner; closely.
  2. near; close by.
  3. Heraldry. immediately behind the ears, so as to show no neck: a bear’s head couped close.


  1. the act of closing.
  2. the end or conclusion: at the close of day; the close of the speech.
  3. an enclosed place or enclosure, especially one about or beside a cathedral or other building.
  4. any piece of land held as private property.
  5. complimentary close.
  6. Music. cadence(def 7).
  7. Stock Exchange.
    1. the closing price on a stock.
    2. the closing prices on an exchange market.
  8. Scot.
    1. a narrow entry or alley terminating in a dead end.
    2. a courtyard enclosed except for one narrow entrance.
  9. Archaic. a junction; union.
  10. Obsolete. a close encounter; a grapple: The fighters met in a fierce close.

Verb Phrases

  1. close down,
    1. to terminate the operation of; discontinue: to close down an air base because of budget cuts.
    2. to attempt to control or eliminate: The city must close down drug traffic.
  2. close in on/upon,
    1. to approach so as to capture, attack, arrest, etc.: The hoodlums closed in on their victim.
    2. to surround or envelop so as to entrap: a feeling that the room was closing in upon her.
  3. close out,
    1. to reduce the price of (merchandise) for quick sale: That store is closing out its stock of men’s clothing.
    2. to liquidate or dispose of finally and completely: They closed out their interests after many years in this city.
  4. close up,
    1. to come together in close array; converge: The enemy was closing up on us from both flanks.
    2. to bring to an end; cease: The company is closing up its overseas operations.
    3. to become silent or uncommunicative.
    4. to reduce or eliminate spacing material between (units of set type).


  1. close ranks, to unite forces, especially by overlooking petty differences, in order to deal with an adverse or challenging situation; to join together in a show of unity, especially to the public: When the newspaper story broke suggesting possible corruption in the government, the politicians all closed ranks.
  2. close to the wind, Nautical. in a direction nearly opposite to that from which the wind is coming: to sail close to the wind.
  3. close up,
    1. from close range; in a detailed manner; intimately.
    2. Nautical.fully raised; at the top of the halyard: an answering pennant flown close up.Compare dip1(def 37).


  1. near in space or time; in proximity
  2. having the parts near together; densea close formation
  3. down or near to the surface; shorta close haircut
  4. near in relationshipa close relative
  5. intimate or confidentiala close friend
  6. almost equal or evena close contest
  7. not deviating or varying greatly from a model or standarda close resemblance; a close translation
  8. careful, strict, or searchinga close study
  9. (of a style of play in football, hockey, etc) characterized by short passes
  10. confined or enclosed
  11. shut or shut tight
  12. oppressive, heavy, or airlessa close atmosphere
  13. strictly guardeda close prisoner
  14. neat or tight in fita close cap
  15. secretive or reticent
  16. miserly; not generous, esp with money
  17. (of money or credit) hard to obtain; scarce
  18. restricted as to public admission or membership
  19. hidden or secluded
  20. Also: closed restricted or prohibited as to the type of game or fish able to be taken
  21. Also: closed, narrow phonetics denoting a vowel pronounced with the lips relatively close together


  1. closely; tightly
  2. near or in proximity
  3. close to the wind nautical sailing as nearly as possible towards the direction from which the wind is blowingSee also wind 1 (def. 26)


  1. to put or be put in such a position as to cover an opening; shutthe door closed behind him
  2. (tr) to bar, obstruct, or fill up (an entrance, a hole, etc)to close a road
  3. to bring the parts or edges of (a wound, etc) together or (of a wound, etc) to be brought together
  4. (intr; foll by on, over, etc) to take holdhis hand closed over the money
  5. to bring or be brought to an end; terminate
  6. to complete (an agreement, a deal, etc) successfully or (of an agreement, deal, etc) to be completed successfully
  7. to cease or cause to cease to render servicethe shop closed at six
  8. (intr) stock exchange to have a value at the end of a day’s trading, as specifiedsteels closed two points down
  9. to complete an electrical circuit
  10. (tr) nautical to pass near
  11. (tr) archaic to enclose or shut in
  12. close one’s eyes
    1. euphemisticto die
    2. (often foll by to)to ignore


  1. the act of closing
  2. the end or conclusionthe close of the day
  3. a place of joining or meeting
  4. (kləʊs) law private property, usually enclosed by a fence, hedge, or wall
  5. (kləʊs) British a courtyard or quadrangle enclosed by buildings or an entry leading to such a courtyard
  6. (kləʊs) British (capital when part of a street name) a small quiet residential roadHillside Close
  7. British a field
  8. (kləʊs) the precincts of a cathedral or similar building
  9. (kləʊs) Scot the entry from the street to a tenement building
  10. music another word for cadence
  11. archaic, or rare an encounter in battle; grapple

v.c.1200, “to shut, cover in,” from Old French clos- (past participle stem of clore “to shut, to cut off from”), 12c., from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere “to shut, close; to block up, make inaccessible; put an end to; shut in, enclose, confine” (always -clusus, -cludere in compounds). The Latin word might be from the possible PIE root *klau- “hook, peg, crooked or forked branch” (used as a bar or bolt in primitive structures); cf. Latin clavis “key,” clavus “nail,” claustrum “bar, bolt, barrier,” claustra “dam, wall, barricade, stronghold;” Greek kleidos (genitive) “bar, bolt, key,” klobos “cage;” Old Irish clo “nail,” Middle Irish clithar “hedge, fence;” Old Church Slavonic ključi “hook, key,” ključiti “shut;” Lithuanian kliuti “to catch, be caught on,” kliaudziu “check, hinder,” kliuvu “clasp, hang;” Old High German sliozan “shut,” German schließen “to shut,” Schlüssel “key.” Also partly from Old English beclysan “close in, shut up.” Intransitive sense “become shut” is from late 14c. Meaning “draw near to” is from 1520s. Intransitive meaning “draw together, come together” is from 1550s, hence the idea in military verbal phrase close ranks (mid-17c.), later with figurative extensions. Meaning “bring to an end, finish” is from c.1400; intransitive sense “come to an end” is from 1826. Of stock prices, from 1860. Meaning “bring together the parts of” (a book, etc.) is from 1560s. Related: Closed; closing. adj.late 14c., “strictly confined,” also “secret,” from Old French clos “confined; concealed, secret; taciturn” (12c.), from Latin clausus “close, reserved,” past participle adjective from claudere “stop up, fasten, shut” (see close (v.)); main sense shifting to “near” (late 15c.) by way of “closing the gap between two things.” Related: Closely. Meaning “narrowly confined, pent up” is late 14c. Meaning “near” in a figurative sense, of persons, from 1560s. Meaning “full of attention to detail” is from 1660s. Of contests, from 1855. Close call is from 1866, in a quotation in an anecdote from 1863, possibly a term from the American Civil War; close shave in the figurative sense is 1820, American English. Close range is from 1814. Close-minded is attested from 1818. Close-fisted “penurious, miserly” is from c.1600. n.late 14c., “act of closing, conclusion, termination,” from close (v.). Also in early use “enclosure, enclosed space” (late 13c.), from Old French clos, noun use of past participle. adv.“tightly, with no opening or space between,” from close (adj.). In addition to the idioms beginning with close

  • close at hand
  • close but no cigar
  • close call
  • closed book, a
  • closed door
  • close down
  • close in
  • close one’s eyes to
  • close out
  • close ranks
  • close shave
  • close the books
  • close the door on
  • close the sale
  • close to home
  • close up
  • also see:

  • at close quarters
  • at close range
  • behind closed doors
  • keep (a close) watch
  • near (close) to one’s heart
  • play one’s cards close to one’s chest
  • sail close to the wind
  • too close for comfort
  • too close to call
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