close

1 of 5

verb

closed; closing

transitive verb

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
: to suspend or stop the operations of
close school
often used with down
They closed down the factory.
e
: screen, exclude
close a view
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

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.
2
a
: 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
6
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
closable adjective
or closeable

close

2 of 5

adjective

closer; closest
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
4
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
… his exact, close, sober classical style … Edmund Wilson
5
: decided or won by a narrow margin
a close baseball game
6
a
: 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
14
b
: secretive
She could tell us something if she would …. But she was as close as wax. A. Conan Doyle
15
a
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
closely adverb
closeness noun

close

3 of 5

adverb

: 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.

close

4 of 5

noun (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)
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

close

5 of 5

noun (2)

ˈklōs How to pronounce close (audio)
U.S. also
ˈklōz How to pronounce close (audio)
1
a
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
Phrases
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
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.
Choose the Right Synonym for close

Verb

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

Adjective

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

Example Sentences

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

Word History

Etymology

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

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 12

Adverb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near close

Cite this Entry

“Close.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/close. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

close 1 of 5

verb

closed; closing
1
a
: to move so as to prevent passage through something
close the gate
b
: to block against passage
close a street
2
: to stop the operations of
close school early
often used with down
3
: to bring or come to an end or conclusion
close a deal
the meeting closed with a song
close the computer program
4
: to bring together the parts or edges of
a closed fist
close the book
5
a
: to draw near
the second-place runner was closing fast
b
: to engage in a struggle at close quarters
close with the enemy
closer noun

close

2 of 5

noun

: the point at which something ends

close

3 of 5

noun

: an enclosed area

close

4 of 5

adjective

closer; closest
1
: having no openings : closed
2
a
: hidden from sight
b
: not open or frank : secretive
3
: rigorous sense 1
keep close watch
4
: hot and stuffy
5
: not generous : stingy
close with money
6
: having little space between items or units
flying in close formation
7
: fitting tightly or exactly
8
: very short or near the surface
a close haircut
9
: being near in time, space, effect, or degree
10
: having a strong liking each one for the other
a close friend
11
: very precise and attentive to details
close measurements
a close observer
12
: decided by a narrow margin
a close race
closely adverb
closeness noun

close

5 of 5

adverb

: in a close position or manner

Legal Definition

close 1 of 2

verb

closed; closing

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 class Louisiana Revised Statutes

close

2 of 2

noun

: an enclosed area
break another's close

Biographical Definition

Close

biographical name

Chuck 1940–     Charles Thomas Close American painter

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