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verb \ˈklōz\

Simple Definition of close

  • : to move (a door, window, etc.) so that things cannot pass through an opening

  • : to cover the opening of (something)

  • : to bring together the parts or edges of (something open)

Full Definition of close


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to move so as to bar passage through something <close the gate> b :  to block against entry or passage <close a street> c :  to deny access to <the city closed the beach> d :  screen, exclude <close a view> e :  to suspend or stop the operations of <close school> —often used with down

  3. 2 archaic :  enclose, contain

  4. 3 a :  to bring to an end or period <close an account> b :  to conclude discussion or negotiation about <the question is closed>; also :  to consummate by performing something previously agreed <close a transfer of real estate title> c :  to terminate access to (a computer file or program)

  5. 4 a :  to bring or bind together the parts or edges of <a closed book> b :  to fill up (as an opening) c :  to make complete by circling or enveloping or by making continuous <close a circuit> d :  to reduce to nil <closed the distance to the lead racer>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 a :  to contract, fold, swing, or slide so as to leave no opening <the door closed quietly> b :  to cease operation <the factory closed down> <the stores close at 9 p.m.>

  8. 2 a :  to draw near <the ship was closing with the island> b :  to engage in a struggle at close quarters :  grapple <close with the enemy>

  9. 3 a :  to come together :  meet b :  to draw the free foot up to the supporting foot in dancing

  10. 4 :  to enter into or complete an agreement <close on a deal>

  11. 5 :  to come to an end or period <the services closed with a short prayer>

  12. 6 :  to reduce a gap <closed to within two points>

clos·able or close·able play \ˈklō-zə-bəl\ adjective
close one's doors
  1. 1 :  to refuse admission <the nation closed its doors to immigrants>

  2. 2 :  to go out of business

close one's eyes to
  1. :  to ignore deliberately

close ranks
  1. :  to unite in a concerted stand especially to meet a challenge

close the door
  1. :  to be uncompromisingly obstructive <closed the door to further negotiation>

Examples of close

  1. We had better close the windows; it looks like it's going to rain.

  2. I forgot to close the gate.

  3. She was having trouble closing the drawer.

  4. Close the lid on the box tightly.

  5. The door opened and closed so quietly that I didn't notice he had come in the room.

  6. The box's lid closed with a bang.

  7. Remember to close the box of cereal when you're done.

  8. Please close your books and put them under your desks.

  9. Close your eyes and go to sleep.

  10. I closed my fists and got ready to fight.

Origin of close

Middle English, from Anglo-French clos-, stem of clore, from Latin claudere to shut, close; perhaps akin to Greek kleiein to close — more at clavicle

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of close

close, end, conclude, finish, complete, terminate mean to bring or come to a stopping point or limit. close usually implies that something has been in some way open as well as unfinished <close a debate>. end conveys a strong sense of finality <ended his life>. conclude may imply a formal closing (as of a meeting) <the service concluded with a blessing>. finish may stress completion of a final step in a process <after it is painted, the house will be finished>. complete implies the removal of all deficiencies or a successful finishing of what has been undertaken <the resolving of this last issue completes the agreement>. terminate implies the setting of a limit in time or space <your employment terminates after three months>.



noun \ˈklōz\

Definition of close

  1. 1 a :  a coming or bringing to a conclusion <at the close of the party> b :  a conclusion or end in time or existence :  cessation <the decade drew to a close> c :  the concluding passage (as of a speech or play)

  2. 2 :  the conclusion of a musical strain or period :  cadence

  3. 3 archaic :  a hostile encounter

  4. 4 :  the movement of the free foot in dancing toward or into contact with the supporting foot

14th Century

First Known Use of close

14th century



noun \ˈklōs, United States also ˈklōz\

Definition of close

  1. 1 a :  an enclosed area b chiefly British :  the precinct of a cathedral

  2. 2 chiefly British a :  a narrow passage leading from a street to a court and the houses within or to the common stairway of tenements b :  a road closed at one end

Origin of close

Middle English clos, literally, enclosure, from Anglo-French clos, from Latin clausum, from neuter of clausus, past participle

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with close



adjective \ˈklōs\

Simple Definition of close

  • : near in space : not far away or distant

  • : near in time

  • : very similar : almost the same

Full Definition of close


  1. 1 :  having no openings :  closed

  2. 2 a :  confined or carefully guarded <close arrest> b (1) of a vowel :  high 13 (2) :  formed with the tongue in a higher position than for the other vowel of a pair

  3. 3 :  restricted to a privileged class

  4. 4 a :  secluded, secret b :  secretive <she could tell us something if she would … but she was as close as wax — A. Conan Doyle>

  5. 5 :  strict, rigorous <keep close watch>

  6. 6 :  hot and stuffy <a room with an uncomfortably close atmosphere>

  7. 7 :  not generous in giving or spending :  tight

  8. 8 :  having little space between items or units <a close weave> <a close grain>

  9. 9 a :  fitting tightly or exactly <a close fit> b :  very short or near to the surface <a close haircut>

  10. 10 :  being near in time, space, effect, or degree <at close range> <close to my birthday> <close to the speed of sound>

  11. 11 :  intimate, familiar <close friends>

  12. 12 a :  very precise and attentive to details <a close reading> <a close study> b :  marked by fidelity to an original <a close copy of an old master> c :  terse, compact

  13. 13 :  decided or won by a narrow margin <a close baseball game>

  14. 14 :  difficult to obtain <money is close>

  15. 15 of punctuation :  characterized by liberal use especially of commas

close·ly adverb
close·ness noun
close to home
  1. :  within one's personal interests so that one is strongly affected <the speaker's remarks hit close to home>

close to the bone
  1. :  within a sensitive or personal area <the criticism cut close to the bone>

close to the vest
  1. :  in a reserved or cautious manner

Examples of close

  1. We're not there yet, but we're getting close.

  2. We stood close together to stay warm.

  3. Christmas is getting closer and will soon be here.

  4. Their daughters are close in age.

  5. close in size and shape

Origin of close

Middle English clos, from Anglo-French, from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of close

stingy, close, niggardly, parsimonious, penurious, miserly mean being unwilling or showing unwillingness to share with others. stingy implies a marked lack of generosity <a stingy child, not given to sharing>. close suggests keeping a tight grip on one's money and possessions <folks who are very close when charity calls>. niggardly implies giving or spending the very smallest amount possible <the niggardly amount budgeted for the town library>. parsimonious suggests a frugality so extreme as to lead to stinginess <a parsimonious lifestyle notably lacking in luxuries>. penurious implies niggardliness that gives an appearance of actual poverty <the penurious eccentric bequeathed a fortune>. miserly suggests a sordid avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding <a miserly couple devoid of social conscience>.



adverb \ˈklōs\

Simple Definition of close

  • : at or to a short distance or time away

Full Definition of close

  1. :  in a close position or manner

Examples of close

  1. Don't drive so close to the car in front of you.

  2. He told me to stay close as we walked through the crowd.

  3. The time for a decision is drawing closer.

  4. My teammate came in third, and I finished close behind.

  5. They sat close together at the dinner table.

15th Century

First Known Use of close

15th century


biographical name \ˈklōz, commonly ˈklōs\

Definition of Close

  1. Chuck 1940–     Charles Thomas Close Am. painter

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up close? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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