Open main menu


English Wikipedia has articles on:

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English closen (to close, enclose), partly continuing (in altered form) earlier Middle English clusen (to close) (from Old English clȳsan (to close, shut); compare beclose, foreclose, etc.), and partly derived from Middle English clos (close, shut up, confined, secret, adjective), from Old French clos (close, confined, adjective), from Latin clausus (shut up, past participle), from claudere (to bar, block, close, enclose, bring an end to, confine), from Proto-Indo-European *klāw- (key, hook, nail), related to Latin clāvis (key, deadbolt, bar), clāvus (nail, peg), claustrum (bar, bolt, barrier), claustra (dam, wall, barricade, stronghold). Cognate with Ancient Greek κλείς (kleís, bar, bolt, key), German schließen (to close, conclude, lock), Dutch sluiten (to close, conclude, lock). Partially replaced Old English lūcan (to close, lock, enclose), (whence English lock).



close (third-person singular simple present closes, present participle closing, simple past and past participle closed)

  1. (physical) To remove a gap.
    1. To obstruct (an opening).
    2. To move so that an opening is closed.
      Close the door behind you when you leave.
      Jim was listening to headphones with his eyes closed.
      • (Can we date this quote?) Lord Byron
        What deep wounds ever closed without a scar?
      • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 2, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
        If I close my eyes I can see Marie today as I saw her then. Round, rosy face, snub nose, dark hair piled up in a chignon.
    3. To make (e.g. a gap) smaller.
      The runner in second place is closing the gap on the leader.
      to close the ranks of an army
    4. To grapple; to engage in close combat.
  2. (social) To finish, to terminate.
    1. To put an end to; to conclude; to complete; to finish; to consummate.
      close the session;   to close a bargain;   to close a course of instruction
      • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
        One frugal supper did our studies close.
    2. To come to an end.
      The debate closed at six o'clock.
    3. (marketing) To make a sale.
    4. (baseball, pitching) To make the final outs, usually three, of a game.
      He has closed the last two games for his team.
    5. (figuratively, computing) To terminate an application, window, file or database connection, etc.
  3. To come or gather around; to enclose; to encompass; to confine.
    • Bible, Jonah ii. 5
      The depth closed me round about.
    • (Can we date this quote?) George Herbert
      But now Thou dost Thyself immure and close / In some one corner of a feeble heart; / Where yet both Sinne and Satan, Thy old foes, / Do pinch and straiten Thee, and use much art / To gain Thy thirds' and little part.
  4. (surveying) To have a vector sum of 0; that is, to form a closed polygon.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit


close (plural closes)

  1. An end or conclusion.
    We owe them our thanks for bringing the project to a successful close.
    • Macaulay
      His long and troubled life was drawing to a close.
  2. The manner of shutting; the union of parts; junction.
    • Chapman
      The doors of plank were; their close exquisite.
  3. A grapple in wrestling.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
  4. (music) The conclusion of a strain of music; cadence.
    • Dryden
      At every close she made, the attending throng / Replied, and bore the burden of the song.
  5. (music) A double bar marking the end.

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from French clos, from Latin clausum, participle of claudō.



close (comparative closer, superlative closest)

  1. (now rare) Closed, shut.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew chapter 8:
      There is nothinge so close, that shall not be openned, and nothinge so hyd that shall not be knowen.
    • Dryden
      From a close bower this dainty music flowed.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre, chapter 1:
      I mounted into the window-seat: gathering up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a Turk; and, having drawn the red moreen curtain nearly close, I was shrined in double retirement.
  2. Narrow; confined.
    a close alley; close quarters
    • Charles Dickens
      a close prison
  3. At a little distance; near.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      […] St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London. Close-packed, crushed by the buttressed height of the railway viaduct, rendered airless by huge walls of factories, it at once banished lively interest from a stranger's mind and left only a dull oppression of the spirit.
    • 2013 June 1, “End of the peer show”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 71:
      Finance is seldom romantic. But the idea of peer-to-peer lending comes close. This is an industry that brings together individual savers and lenders on online platforms. Those that want to borrow are matched with those that want to lend.
    Is your house close?
  4. Intimate; well-loved.
    He is a close friend.
    1. (law) Of a corporation or other business entity, closely held.
  5. Oppressive; without motion or ventilation; causing a feeling of lassitude.
    • Francis Bacon
      If the rooms be low-roofed, or full of windows and doors, the one maketh the air close, [...] and the other maketh it exceeding unequal.
  6. (Ireland, England, Scotland, weather) Hot, humid, with no wind.
  7. (linguistics, phonetics, of a vowel) Articulated with the tongue body relatively close to the hard palate.
  8. Strictly confined; carefully guarded.
    a close prisoner
  9. (obsolete) Out of the way of observation; secluded; secret; hidden.
    • Bible, 1 Chron. xii. 1
      He yet kept himself close because of Saul.
    • Spenser
      her close intent
  10. Nearly equal; almost evenly balanced.
    a close contest
  11. Short.
    to cut grass or hair close
  12. (archaic) Dense; solid; compact.
    • John Locke
      The golden globe being put into a press, [...] the water made itself way through the pores of that very close metal.
  13. (archaic) Concise; to the point.
    close reasoning
    • Dryden
      Where the original is close no version can reach it in the same compass.
  14. (dated) Difficult to obtain.
    Money is close.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bartlett to this entry?)
  15. (dated) Parsimonious; stingy.
    • 1820, John Keats, “Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil. A Story from Boccaccio.”, in Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems, London: Printed [by Thomas Davison] for Taylor and Hessey, [], OCLC 927360557, stanza XVII, page 57:
      Yet were these Florentines as self-retired / In hungry pride and gainful cowardice, / As two close Hebrews in that land inspired, / Paled in and vineyarded from beggar-spies; [...]
    • 1837, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Twice-Told Tales, Volume I: "Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe":
      [...] he was a crusty old fellow, as close as a vice.
    • 1852-1853, Charles Dickens, Bleak House
      Though a hard-grained man, close, dry, and silent, he can enjoy old wine with the best. He has a priceless bin of port in some artful cellar under the Fields, which is one of his many secrets.
  16. Adhering strictly to a standard or original; exact.
    a close translation
    (Can we find and add a quotation of John Locke to this entry?)
  17. Accurate; careful; precise; also, attentive; undeviating; strict.
    The patient was kept under close observation.
  18. Marked, evident.
Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



close (plural closes)

  1. (now rare) An enclosed field.
  2. (chiefly British) A street that ends in a dead end.
  3. (Scotland) A very narrow alley between two buildings, often overhung by one of the buildings above the ground floor.
  4. (Scotland) The common staircase in a tenement.
  5. A cathedral close.
    • Macaulay
      closes surrounded by the venerable abodes of deans and canons.
  6. (law) The interest which one may have in a piece of ground, even though it is not enclosed.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bouvier to this entry?)



Middle EnglishEdit



  1. plural of cloth



close m (plural closes)

  1. (photography) close-up (photography in which the subject is shown at a large scale)
  2. attitude