\ ˈklōz How to pronounce close (audio) \
closed; closing

Definition of close

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : 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 : to suspend or stop the operations of close school often used with down They closed down the factory.
e : screen, exclude close a view
2a : to bring to an end or period close an account closed his football career with an outstanding big bowl performance Investigators closed the case after concluding that his death was accidental.
b : to terminate access to (a computer file or program) Remember to save the file before closing it.
c : to conclude discussion or negotiation about The question is closed. also : to consummate (see consummate entry 2 sense 2) by performing something previously agreed close a transfer of real estate title
3a : to bring or bind together the parts or edges of a closed book
b : to reduce to nil closed the distance to the lead racer
c : to fill up (something, such as an opening) close the cracks with plaster of paris
d : to make complete by circling or enveloping or by making continuous close a circuit
4 archaic : enclose, contain

intransitive verb

1a : 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.
2a : to come together : meet The jaws of the vise closed.
b : to draw the free foot up to the supporting foot in dancing
3 : to come to an end or period The services closed with a short prayer.
4 : to enter into or complete an agreement close on a deal
5 : to reduce a gap closed to within two points
6a : to draw near The ship was closing with the island.
b : to engage in a struggle at close quarters : grapple close with the enemy
close one's doors
1 : to refuse admission The nation closed its doors to immigrants.
2 : to go out of business The furniture store closed its doors last week.
close one's eyes to
: to ignore deliberately Officials closed their eyes to allegations of child abuse at the day care center.
close ranks
: to unite in a concerted stand especially to meet a challenge The family closed ranks to protect one of their own.
close the door
: to be uncompromisingly obstructive closed the door to further negotiation


\ ˈklōs How to pronounce close (audio) \
closer; closest

Definition of close (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : being near in time, space, effect, or degree at close range close to my birthday close to the speed of sound
2 : intimate, familiar close friends
3 : strict, rigorous keep close watch
4a : 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 … his exact, close, sober classical style …— Edmund Wilson
5 : decided or won by a narrow margin a close baseball game
6a : very short or near to the surface a close haircut
b : fitting tightly or exactly a close fit
7 : confined or carefully guarded close quarters close arrest
8 : having little space between items or units a close weave a close grain
9 : hot and stuffy a room with an uncomfortably close atmosphere
10 : difficult to obtain Money is close.
11 : not generous in giving or spending : tight … a close buyer and a good marketer.— W. A. White
12 : having no openings : closed
13 : restricted to a privileged class a close scholarship
14a : secluded, secret
b : secretive She could tell us something if she would …. But she was as close as wax.— A. Conan Doyle
15a of a vowel : high sense 13
b : formed with the tongue in a higher position than for the other vowel of a pair Italian has a close and an open e.
16 of punctuation : characterized by liberal use especially of commas
close to home
: within one's personal interests so that one is strongly affected The speaker's remarks hit close to home.
close to the bone
: within a sensitive or personal area The criticism cut close to the bone.
close to the vest
: in a reserved or cautious manner She tends to keep her opinions close to the vest.


\ ˈklōs How to pronounce close (audio) \

Definition of close (Entry 3 of 5)

: in a close position or manner Don't drive so close to the car in front of you. Look close and tell me what you see. They sat close together on the bench.


noun (1)
\ ˈklōz How to pronounce close (audio) \

Definition of close (Entry 4 of 5)

1a : 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) At the close of his speech, he thanked his supporters.
2 : the conclusion of a musical strain or period : cadence Following the close of the symphony, the audience rose and applauded.
3 : the movement of the free foot in dancing toward or into contact with the supporting foot
4 archaic : a hostile encounter


noun (2)
\ ˈklōs How to pronounce close (audio) , U.S. also ˈklōz How to pronounce close (audio) \

Definition of close (Entry 5 of 5)

1a chiefly British : the precinct (see precinct sense 2a) of a cathedral
b : an enclosed area
2 chiefly British
a : a road closed at one end
b : a narrow passage leading from a street to a court and the houses within or to the common stairway of tenements

Other Words from close


closable or closeable \ ˈklō-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce close (audio) \ adjective


closely adverb
closeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for close

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Noun (2)

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun (1)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for 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


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

Examples of close in a Sentence

Verb We had better close the windows; it looks like it's going to rain. I forgot to close the gate. She was having trouble closing the drawer. Close the lid on the box tightly. The door opened and closed so quietly that I didn't notice he had come in the room. The box's lid closed with a bang. Remember to close the box of cereal when you're done. Please close your books and put them under your desks. Close your eyes and go to sleep. I closed my fists and got ready to fight. Adjective We're not there yet, but we're getting close. We stood close together to stay warm. Christmas is getting closer and will soon be here. Their daughters are close in age. close in size and shape Adverb Don't drive so close to the car in front of you. He told me to stay close as we walked through the crowd. The time for a decision is drawing closer. My teammate came in third, and I finished close behind. They sat close together at the dinner table. See More

First Known Use of close


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 12


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for close

Verb and Noun (1)

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


Middle English clos, from Anglo-French, from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere — see close entry 1

Noun (2)

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

Learn More About close

Time Traveler for close

Time Traveler

The first known use of close was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near close




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for close

Cite this Entry

“Close.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for close


\ ˈklōz How to pronounce close (audio) \
closed; closing

Kids Definition of close

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : to cover the opening of I closed the box.
2 : to change the position of so as to prevent passage through an opening : shut Please close the door.
3 : to bring or come to an end I closed my account.
4 : to end the operation of for a period of time or permanently The school was closed for summer.
5 : to bring the parts or edges of together close a book Close your eyes.
6 : approach entry 1 sense 1 I was still behind. The finish line was closing.— Jerry Spinelli, Crash
7 : decrease entry 1 I ran faster and the gap between us closed.
close in
: to come or move nearer or closer A storm closed in.


\ ˈklōz How to pronounce close (audio) \

Kids Definition of close (Entry 2 of 4)

: the point at which something ends the close of business


\ ˈklōs How to pronounce close (audio) \
closer; closest

Kids Definition of close (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : not far apart in space, time, degree, or effect I was close to the aisle and in good position to scrutinize the feet of new arrivals.— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted It's close to nine o'clock.
2 : very similar The material is a close match with the curtains.
3 : almost reaching a particular condition Illness brought her close to death.
4 : having a strong liking each one for the other close friends
5 : strict and careful in attention to details close examination
6 : decided by a narrow margin It was a close election.
7 : short entry 1 sense 1 a close haircut
8 : having little extra space We all fit, but it was close.
9 : kept secret or tending to keep secrets
10 : lacking fresh or moving air a close room

Other Words from close

closely adverb
closeness noun


\ ˈklōs How to pronounce close (audio) \
closer; closest

Kids Definition of close (Entry 4 of 4)

: a short distance or time away The time drew closer.


closed; closing

Legal Definition of close

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to an end or to a state of completion closed the case close an estate by liquidating its assets closing his account
2 : to conclude discussion or negotiation about also : to bring to completion by performing something previously agreed closing a merger close the property sale

intransitive verb

1 : to enter into or complete an agreement (as for the sale of real estate) they closed on the house
2 : to come to an end or to a state of completion after the class closes, the trust shall continue…until the death of the last surviving member of the classLouisiana Revised Statutes



Legal Definition of close (Entry 2 of 2)

: an enclosed area break another's close

Close biographical name

\ ˈklōz How to pronounce Close (audio) , commonly ˈklōs How to pronounce Close (audio) \

Definition of Close

Chuck 1940–     Charles Thomas Close American painter

More from Merriam-Webster on close

Nglish: Translation of close for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of close for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!