Definition of close in in English:

close in

phrasal verb

  • 1Come nearer to someone being pursued:

    ‘the police were closing in on them’
    • ‘Listening to them on the other side of their lead-lined protective barrier was like listening to a bombing crew closing in on its target.’
    • ‘The FBI is believed to be closing in on him and think he still lives in the US.’
    • ‘With the rebels closing in on the sprawling capital, many feared a battle for control between them and the president's militant supporters.’
    • ‘But aware the police were closing in on them, they bolted, leaving fingerprints on cups and the Monopoly set that police then used in their forensic investigation.’
    • ‘Police said yesterday they were closing in on the alleged rapist, who is believed to have attacked more than a dozen women in south Trinidad over the past few months.’
    • ‘He believes the police are closing in on his family and is afraid to go home.’
    • ‘Hurricane Rita is tonight closing in on the Texas - Louisiana coast with 125-mile-an-hour winds.’
    • ‘Detectives today believe they are closing in on a man described as a ‘real danger to women’ after receiving leads from the public.’
    • ‘Creditors were closing in on Mr Smith, who owed up to £450,000.’
    • ‘Gardai are closing in on a ruthless criminal family suspected of targeting prison officers in a vicious campaign of attacks and intimidation in Limerick.’
    • ‘With American troops quickly closing in, surrounding him on three sides, Weatherford's only escape was a bluff above the wintry Alabama River.’
    1. 1.1 Gradually surround, especially with the effect of hindering movement or vision:
      ‘the weather has now closed in so an attempt on the summit is unlikely’
      • ‘The darkness seemed to close in around him like a noxious cloud.’
      • ‘Darkness was closing in and the rain beginning to fall as we drove up the long, tree lined road to the gates of Ham House.’
      • ‘She couldn't keep her eyes open anymore, the darkness closing in around her vision.’
      • ‘The darkness closed in on her, trapping her in profuse exhaustion and a dull throbbing pain.’
      • ‘Deeper in the cave, the walls close in, darkness enfolds us, and we switch on our headlamps.’
      • ‘The sun was setting now and darkness was closing in.’
      • ‘Her head swims, the nausea closing in on her the way it does, fast, with light pulsing at the sides of her face, a fanning heat.’
      • ‘Finally we reach the visitor centre with darkness closing in, and as the engines are cut, an eerie silence falls again over the park.’
      • ‘Walkers and shoppers, particularly as darkness closes in can be seen pausing to have a closer look at the array of lights, Santa's and Christmas items.’
      • ‘For a long time he sat staring at him, night slowly closing in as his thoughts surrounded him.’
    2. 1.2 (of days) get successively shorter with the approach of the winter solstice:
      ‘November was closing in’
      • ‘When trekking over mountains became too difficult and winter was closing in, the need to abandon personal possessions to speed up travel became imperative.’
      • ‘Now that half term is over and with winter closing in again, your thoughts may be turning to summer holidays.’
      • ‘And presumably it's already pretty cold and winter is closing in?’
      • ‘As the winter closes in and daylight vanishes, so does the plot.’
      • ‘The sports centre has re-opened it's doors for the new season and with the nights closing in and Winter almost upon us it's sure to be a virtual hive of activity until the Spring comes around.’
      • ‘Winter may be closing in fast, but not all sailors are prepared to call it a day just yet and several clubs are running race series, which take them through into the New Year.’
      • ‘When winter closes in, it gets easy to raid the refrigerator but hard to face the scale.’
      • ‘But, with dark winter evenings closing in, there are still no signs up, and no evidence of any work on a pedestrian refuge.’
      • ‘With winter closing in, does someone in your family suffer from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder?’
      • ‘It's sure to be a winner with the nights closing in hard for the Winter.’