adj. clos·er, clos·est
1. Being near in space or time. See Usage Note at redundancy.
2. Being near in relationship: close relatives.
3. Bound by mutual interests, loyalties, or affections; intimate: close friends.
4. Having little or no space between elements or parts; tight and compact: a close weave.
5. Being near the surface; short: a close haircut.
6. Being on the brink of: close to tears.
7. Decided by a narrow margin; almost even: a close election.
8. Faithful to the original: a close copy.
9. Very attentive; rigorous; thorough: a close reading; close supervision.
10. Shut; closed.
11. Shut in; enclosed.
12. Confining or narrow; crowded: close quarters.
13. Fitting tightly: close garments.
14. Warm and humid or stuffy: close weather; a close room.
15. Confined to specific persons or groups: a close secret.
16. Strictly confined or guarded: kept under close custody.
17. Secretive; reticent: was close about her personal life.
18. Giving or spending with reluctance; stingy: He is known to be close with his money.
19. Not easily acquired; scarce: Money was close.
20. Linguistics Pronounced with the tongue near the palate, as the ee in meet. Used of vowels.
21. Marked by more rather than less punctuation, especially commas.
v. (klōz) closed, clos·ing, clos·es
1. To move (a door, for example) so that an opening or passage is covered or obstructed; shut.
2. To bar access to: closed the road for repairs.
3. To fill or stop up: closed the cracks with plaster.
4. To stop the operations of permanently or temporarily: closed down the factory.
5. To make unavailable for use: closed the area to development; closed the database to further changes.
6. To bring to an end; terminate: close a letter; close a bank account.
7. To bring together all the elements or parts of: Management closed ranks and ostracized the troublemaker.
8. To join or unite; bring into contact: close a circuit.
9. To draw or bind together the edges of: close a wound.
10. Sports To modify (one's stance), as in baseball or golf, by turning the body so that the forward shoulder and foot are closer to the intended point of impact with the ball.
11. To complete the final details or negotiations on: close a deal.
12. Archaic To enclose on all sides.
1. To become shut: The door closed quietly.
2. To come to an end; finish: The book closes on a hopeful note.
3. To reach an agreement; come to terms: We close on the house next week.
4. To cease operation: The shop closes at six.
5. To be priced or listed at a specified amount when trading ends: Stocks closed higher on Monday.
a. To engage at close quarters: closed with the enemy.
b. To draw near: The orbiter closed with the space station in preparation for docking.
7. To come together: My arms closed around the little child.
8. Baseball To finish a game by protecting a lead. Used of relief pitchers.
1. The act of closing.
2. A conclusion; a finish: The meeting came to a close.
3. Music The concluding part of a phrase or theme; a cadence.
4. (klōs) An enclosed place, especially land surrounding or beside a cathedral or other building.
5. (klōs) Chiefly British A narrow way or alley.
6. Archaic A fight at close quarters.
adv. (klōs) closer, closestPhrasal Verbs:
In a close position or manner; closely: stayed close together.
1. To seem to be gathering in on all sides: The problems closed in.
2. To advance on a target so as to block escape: The police closed in on the sniper.
3. To surround so as to make unusable: The airport was closed in by fog.
1. To dispose of (a line of merchandise) at reduced prices.
2. To terminate, as by selling: close out a business.
close the book on
To make a final effort regarding (something); bring to a conclusion: closed the book on her career with a fine performance.
close to home/the bone
So as to affect one's feelings or interests: Her comment hit close to home.
close to the wind Nautical
At a close angle into the direction from which the wind is blowing: sailing close to the wind.
[Middle English clos, closed, from Old French, from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere, to close. V., from Middle English closen, from Old French clore, clos-, from Latin claudere.]
closa·ble, closea·ble (klōzə-bəl) adj.
closing (klōzĭng) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.