Main definitions of close in US English:

: close1close2



  • 1A short distance away or apart in space or time.

    ‘the hotel is close to the sea’
    ‘her birthday and her wedding date were close together’
    ‘the months of living in close proximity to her were taking their toll’
    • ‘Our guide kept moving at the same pace, and didn't turn back to face us, or give us any sign that our destination was close at hand.’
    • ‘If you don't like the weather this winter, a change is as close as your nearest airport.’
    • ‘A car park facility in close proximity to it would be a considerable advantage to the many people who visit it on a regular basis.’
    • ‘Even those working in towns are usually close enough to go home for lunch, as do farmers.’
    • ‘If you decide not to allow smoking in the reception area, how close is the nearest place for a smoker to go?’
    • ‘When moving home last summer we made sure our new house was close to a good primary school.’
    • ‘I could hardly tell exactly what it was, but it was very close and was a highly concentrated light.’
    • ‘As he sits down in the family's small room, explosions can be heard from a close neighbourhood.’
    • ‘I was pretty close, though I still couldn't see the skyline of New York.’
    • ‘Indeed the Fairgreen Shopping Centre, Carlow Retail Park and the town centre are very close.’
    • ‘Tessa cooks the evening meal, but the nearest town is close if clients wish to eat out occasionally.’
    • ‘When the officer was close enough he reached out and grabbed Danny's ankles tight, pulling him forward.’
    • ‘A move to the village would give the Duchess her independence while allowing her daughters to be in close proximity to their father.’
    • ‘Sometimes two different logging roads are close enough to be within radio range.’
    • ‘A few people, almost invariably working in close proximity to birds, have been infected and become seriously ill.’
    • ‘Louisa takes off and does the same, with Grace following in close pursuit.’
    • ‘Her warm body was so close, his hands around that slim waist were gently squeezing and caressing her.’
    • ‘In the small, tight world of the judo competitor your opponent is very close, at arms length or less.’
    • ‘The Sentinel banked and turned to line up with their relatively close destination.’
    • ‘It is much smoother and more intimate than the ballroom tango, with the couple's upper bodies close together and lower bodies apart.’
    near, adjacent, in close proximity, close at hand, near at hand
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 With very little or no space in between; dense.
      ‘cloth with a closer weave’
      ‘this work occupies over 1,300 pages of close print’
      • ‘If the agreement is in writing it may be in very close print on the back of a delivery docket or ticket.’
      • ‘He pulled out a sheet of thin blue paper covered in close type.’
      • ‘It was slow work, for the trees were close, and in places dense with the bare vines and stalks of undergrowth.’
      dense, compact, tight, close-packed, tightly packed, packed, solid, condensed, compressed, concentrated
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Narrowly enclosed.
      ‘animals in close confinement’
      • ‘Sows in close confinement on concrete have a higher incidence of injuries to feet.’
      • ‘The tiny but sturdy craft was tossed precariously by the rip tides created in the close waterway.’
      • ‘In this narrow and close environment it became inevitable that Brenda and Henry should clash.’
    3. 1.3close topredicative Very near to (being or doing something)
      ‘on a good day the climate in LA is close to perfection’
      ‘she was close to tears’
      • ‘The attempt nearly succeeded as he was close to being able to get his head through the hole.’
      • ‘I had a low point towards the end of last season and that is why I was close to leaving the club, but now I am at my best ever level.’
      • ‘Specialist poultry breeders are close to ruin because of the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease.’
      • ‘He was close to tears in breaking the news to me over the telephone.’
      • ‘‘I wouldn't say the club came close to closing over the last seven years, but we have had some very trying moments, particularly last season,’ he states.’
      • ‘He said the situation had got so bad that many drivers were close to breaking point.’
      • ‘The tragedy of the situation is how close the company has come to being a financially sound airline.’
      • ‘There were several occasions when they acted so stupidly, I came close to shouting at the screen in frustration.’
      • ‘He might well go close to emulating his feat on the course last week when he won four races on the card.’
      on the verge of, near, on the brink of, on the point of, within an ace of, in danger of
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (with reference to a competitive situation) won or likely to be won by only a small amount or distance.
      ‘the race will be a close contest’
      ‘she finished a close second’
      • ‘After a close fight, the crowd becomes frustrated to hear the official verdict.’
      • ‘This was a very close and exciting game with a large number of supporters crowding the field to cheer on their teams.’
      • ‘This left the overall result very close, but the winner was Steve Mascari with a total of 31 pts.’
      • ‘In the county juvenile championships there was plenty of excitement and some very close contests.’
      • ‘While Stevens built up a comfortable lead by the end of the race, behind him the competition for podium places was exceptionally close.’
      • ‘But I am conscious of the fact that we lost all three matches by very narrow margins and winning the close matches becomes a habit.’
      • ‘The South Yorkshire club has won the League Championship more than any other side in recent years so a close contest can be expected.’
      • ‘A meeting between these two sides are always very close and tight and this clash will be no different.’
      • ‘I hope the matches this week are close, competitive and courteous.’
      • ‘If the large crowd thought that the first half was a close contest the second half was to be an even closer affair.’
      • ‘While she was pleased with the result she was also relieved at having come through after such a close contest.’
      • ‘It was a close competition as there was so much artistic talent on display on the day.’
      • ‘I remember once backing a horse called Tied Cottage for the Irish National, which came second in a very close race.’
      • ‘The 1973 legislative elections were very close, and the vote of the right was squeezed by the left as its realignment paid off.’
      • ‘It's going to be a close contest.’
      • ‘It was a close contest, without doubt, and both men deserve credit for a decent heavyweight championship bout.’
      • ‘This was a very close contest all through with never more than a point or two between the teams at any time.’
      • ‘The layout of the track lends itself to tight, close racing which is always good for the fans.’
      • ‘The tight 1.5 mile circuit promises close racing action for all four classes of cars.’
      • ‘It will be a different kind of challenge from previous races, with really close racing in a big pack of cars.’
      • ‘In a fixture which has historically been a close contest, the Blues scored ten tries as their backs tore Loughborough apart.’
      • ‘This was close fight and would have been even tighter without the points deducted.’
      evenly matched, even, well matched
      View synonyms
  • 2attributive Denoting a family member who is part of a person's immediate family, typically a parent or sibling.

    ‘the family history of cancer in close relatives’
    • ‘Saying a final farewell to the Princess, who died last Saturday aged 71, were her close family as well as many friends.’
    • ‘People who have cars and trucks gather basic things and flee with their family members and close relatives.’
    • ‘None of the close family has accepted offers of counselling.’
    • ‘Jeanne, who had no children or surviving close family, was profoundly deaf and also had learning difficulties.’
    • ‘I could only imagine how it would feel to have a close member of your family talked about in that way.’
    • ‘The marriage itself was in a Catholic Church, thousands of miles from home, with none of her close family in attendance.’
    • ‘On one of our chats he told me that he did not want to have another stroke as he had no children or close family.’
    • ‘Lizzie Murphy spoke to two Yorkshire families which lost close relatives in the tsunami disaster’
    • ‘Some of you may get a windfall: property or a vehicle from parents or close relatives.’
    • ‘Now children who have lost a parent or a close family member are being offered the chance to meet up with others who understand their suffering.’
    • ‘He wanted to come down to Kent to be nearer his close family and it was a shock when he died so soon afterwards.’
    • ‘He told only close family that he had chest trouble and used an inhaler.’
    • ‘I have been through this and seen close family members go through it.’
    • ‘Her close family were given a dose of antibiotics as a precaution, but most cases of the disease occur in isolation.’
    • ‘Only she and her close family knew what she had been through to get back to the very top.’
    • ‘My math teacher lost her entire close family, and was very seriously injured.’
    • ‘They generally aspire only to the sorts of jobs done by their parents and close relatives.’
    • ‘Orphaned at 13 but not left homeless, he was supported by close family.’
    • ‘I can't help thinking about all those mothers and fathers and children who lost close family.’
    • ‘Apparently Colin wants his close family to be involved in the birth and upbringing of his child.’
    immediate, direct, near
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a person or relationship) on very affectionate or intimate terms.
      ‘they had always been very close, with no secrets at all’
      • ‘We're nowhere near as close as we used to be, but I enjoy talking to her all the same.’
      • ‘The two of them had been close since childhood, and he had had a lifelong crush on her.’
      • ‘You know, I always joked I had a million acquaintances and only a couple of close friends.’
      • ‘From 1754 he took up farming but maintained his scientific interests, being on close terms with Joseph Black.’
      • ‘I was hardly aware of opening my locker and being surrounded by my pack of close confidants.’
      • ‘John Morgan, a close friend, said he was shocked by the news but admitted that Charles's health had deteriorated recently.’
      • ‘He and his sister were close and her death affected him so strongly that friends initially feared for his own mental health.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, close friends of his called during the interview to congratulate him on the promotion.’
      • ‘I have only told one of my close friends about what happened.’
      • ‘I enjoyed living in the country and valued the close friends I made there.’
      • ‘From a professional friendship, their relationship has evolved into a close intimate friendship.’
      • ‘We're very good friends and very close but he doesn't spare me either.’
      • ‘Little by little however, she seemed to get comfortable with the fact that I wanted to be close and intimate with her.’
      • ‘You tried to make friends with one of my close and dear friends, who also, as you knew, loved me.’
      • ‘I'm close to all my children, but Rupert and I were especially close.’
      • ‘At the age of 16 a close friend of mine died from drug abuse over a prolonged period.’
      • ‘Sanjay himself is not a great party-goer; he prefers small gatherings with a few close friends.’
      • ‘My close friend and confidante was my cousin Kitty, the closest to me in age and the only other girl.’
      intimate, dear, bosom
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 (of a connection or resemblance) strong.
      ‘the college has close links with many other institutions’
      • ‘There are places on Earth today that may bear a close resemblance to the Antarctic landform back then.’
      • ‘The resemblance is so close, that we suppose the latter has been derived from the former.’
      • ‘They maintain close connections with many of these firms, particularly the top defence companies.’
      • ‘Both moved to the United States many years ago but still maintain close connections with home.’
      • ‘I must stress that I have no close connection with the Choral Union.’
      • ‘We have very close connections to the community in a way sometimes federal law enforcement does not.’
      • ‘The physiological connection is close enough that surgeons have attempted heart and liver transplants from baboon to human.’
      • ‘The voice of a mother, unleashed in all its power, bears a close resemblance to thunder.’
      • ‘Foreign firms are also strongly advised to establish close links with their host government and local community.’
      • ‘They also found a close link between the price of beer and other alcoholic beverages, so all drinkers were losing out in the most expensive areas.’
      • ‘The competition was dreamed up by staff at the Lowry in response to claims by many visitors that dogs in the pictures bear a close resemblance to their own.’
      • ‘We also need to recognise the close connection between poverty and crime.’
      • ‘The small population has close links with Brazil across the border.’
      • ‘He built up a strong party organization with close links to the trade unions.’
      • ‘One of them, which she calls baked French toast, bears a close resemblance to a shallow bread and butter pudding.’
      • ‘My own reputation suffered from his actions, for our close resemblance caused me to be credited with many of them.’
      • ‘They were stunned at the close resemblance and did not seem convinced by my denial.’
      • ‘His father helped build the towers and he felt a close connection to them.’
      • ‘Since the prints are made directly from his fine art prints, they offer a very close match.’
      • ‘As the creation of the welfare state was high on the agenda of all parties, manifestos bore close resemblance on this point.’
      strong, marked, distinct, pronounced
      View synonyms
  • 3(of observation, examination, etc.) done in a careful and thorough way.

    ‘pay close attention to what your body is telling you about yourself’
    ‘we need to keep a close eye on this project’
    • ‘Today, he can eliminate some of the crime prints just by having a close look at them.’
    • ‘Samuel had to be treated for several infections and was kept under close observation in case his condition changed.’
    • ‘Stocks are moving cautiously higher today as investors keep a close eye on those oil prices.’
    • ‘The best precautionary measure is close observation of the patient's condition.’
    • ‘But about five per cent of cases in the city had some drug resistance and needed close observation.’
    • ‘The Web site now has over eight thousand historical maps available for close examination.’
    • ‘Doctors said she wakened after the surgery and was being kept under close observation.’
    • ‘A close examination of the group's claims has revealed serious holes.’
    • ‘Despite a lack of wind, racing was close and the umpires were given plenty of cause for close scrutiny.’
    • ‘But a close comparison of the various reports also throws up a number of differences that the BBC will have to explain.’
    • ‘It is, however, a claim that does not bear too much in the way of close scrutiny.’
    • ‘A close investigation of the bags throws up till receipts which make very interesting reading.’
    • ‘We'll take a close look at the tightest races across the country with our political panel.’
    • ‘What it means is this deserves very careful attention, a very close investigation.’
    • ‘Yet, a close analysis of West Brom two summers ago and reveal that all has not changed utterly.’
    • ‘Again, Leonardo used his method of close observation to study how machines work.’
    • ‘At last week's full council meeting she called for close monitoring of the situation by the county council.’
    • ‘But his performance in months ahead will come under close scrutiny.’
    • ‘This can be a major source of error if you're not keeping close track of what every letter stands for.’
    • ‘Both men were hit by debris from accidents and Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix will be under close scrutiny.’
    careful, detailed, thorough, minute, painstaking, meticulous, assiduous, diligent, rigorous, scrupulous, conscientious, attentive, focused, intent, concentrated, searching, methodical
    vigilant, watchful, keen, alert
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Carefully guarded.
      ‘his whereabouts are a close secret’
      • ‘Details are being kept a close secret until press day at the show.’
      • ‘Every year, the Sowdens and the Waites put up their displays on the same day, but keep them a close secret until they are finished.’
      • ‘The third part of the trilogy is being kept a close secret.’
      • ‘And while this was being sorted out, the brotherhood tried to keep the problem a close secret.’
      • ‘The entire operation was kept a close secret.’
      • ‘They announced the pregnancy in January after their romance had been kept a close secret.’
      • ‘The contents of the correspondence are still being kept a close secret and neither side has released any details.’
      carefully guarded, closely guarded, strict, tight
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2 Not willing to give away money or information; secretive.
      ‘you're very close about your work, aren't you?’
      • ‘She was quite close with money, and they often had horrendous arguments about spending.’
      • ‘I've been begging her to let me meet you all for quite some time, but she's kept very close about it.’
      reticent, quiet, uncommunicative, unforthcoming, private, secretive, tight-lipped, close-mouthed, close-lipped, guarded, evasive
      View synonyms
  • 4Uncomfortably humid or airless.

    ‘a close, hazy day’
    ‘it was very close in the dressing room’
    • ‘It was in the middle of the afternoon that some people began to notice a change, it began to get close and unseasonably warm.’
    • ‘As many as 30,000 people are crammed into close, hot and extremely humid quarters.’
    • ‘At weddings and religious ceremonies where attendees were crowded and when the atmosphere was very close, these "portable air conditioners" were in great demand.’
    • ‘It looks like being dryer and warmer inland and may be a bit close.’
    • ‘The room was close and airless, making a tense situation even more tense.’
    humid, muggy, stuffy, airless, fuggy, heavy, sticky, steamy, clammy, sultry, oppressive, stifling, suffocating, like a turkish bath, like a sauna
    View synonyms
  • 5Phonetics

    another term for high (sense 7 of the adjective)
    • ‘In the following presentation both the 'open' and the 'close' pronunciation of each of the five vowels is illustrated.’
    • ‘Its vowel height is near-close, which means the tongue is positioned similarly to a close vowel, but slightly less constricted.’


  • In a position so as to be very near to someone or something; with very little space between.

    ‘they stood close to the door’
    ‘he was holding her close’
    • ‘‘You shouldn't step so close to the edge,’ I said.’
    • ‘I saw Val lead the rest of the team around the end of the truck and they followed her close.’
    • ‘They just weren't strong enough, and the boats were coming uncomfortably close now.’
    • ‘‘Here, let me help you with these,’ he said, pulling me closer to shore.’
    • ‘Hoss had taken the little boy on his lap, and the other children had crowded close about him.’
    • ‘Following close behind her, Lily could almost feel Marion breathing on her neck.’
    • ‘Once Dr. West left the room Vivienne scooted closer to the edge of the bed and patted the empty space.’
    • ‘There was a car following close behind us and I was praying that the airport wouldn't be far away.’
    • ‘She reached forward and grabbed the hands from the bed and pulled them close to her heart.’
    • ‘As his hands met along her spine, he briefly pulled her close and held her tight.’
    • ‘It is not rude to stare or for persons to crowd one another at counters or stand very close.’
    • ‘She then proceeded to hold it close to her heart, calling his name.’
    • ‘She squealed, as he moved dangerously close to the edge of the pool.’
    • ‘Marie turned back to Alex with an angry expression, leaning close so that their faces were inches apart.’
    • ‘She cried for almost an hour, hugging me close to her chest.’
    • ‘He just kissed my cheek and pulled me even closer to his chest.’
    • ‘Mom moved up the cot and squeezed next to Mira and held her close.’
    • ‘He loved it when she put her arms around him and hugged him close.’
    • ‘Viewers may try to step closer to the surface of each canvas in search of clues.’
    • ‘Her arm quickly pulled him close and she hugged him tight like she'd never let him go.’
    • ‘He smiled and Thomas and I leaned even closer to hear him as his voice dropped with each passing word.’
    • ‘She keeps Betsy close as they wade through the crowds at the Statue of Liberty in New York.’


  • close by

    • Very near; nearby.

      ‘her father lives quite close by’
      • ‘He also warned that the centre could affect businesses who might not like the idea of having a recycling centre close by.’
      • ‘Others living close by worked there as care assistants and nurses, or in the kitchens and as cleaners.’
      • ‘They now have five children and eight grandchildren, all living close by.’
      • ‘She thought it was her husband until she heard a voice muttering close by.’
      • ‘I live in the city, I have all the restaurants and bars close by and there's a gym at the corner of my street.’
      • ‘A number of items belonging to him are thought to have been found close by.’
      • ‘It is one of the only churches in the region without a graveyard adjacent to it or close by.’
      • ‘Had the resident looked out of the window at that precise moment, they would have noticed a van parked close by.’
      • ‘She applied for an allotment close by in Camden, only to be told none would be available until 2007.’
      • ‘Lyon International airport is also close by, and you can access the ski resorts very easily in winter.’
  • close to (or close on)

    • (of an amount) almost; very nearly.

      ‘he spent close to 30 years in jail’
      • ‘I moved down to Durham, North Carolina and was there for close to 5 months.’
      • ‘My band has spent close on a year recording our first album.’
      • ‘When you add up both candidates' programmes, they amount to close on $3 trillion each.’
      • ‘Before the end of the weekend it is estimated that he lost close to a million pounds in deals.’
      • ‘It made the Mughal army supremely powerful and effective for close on 150 years.’
  • close to the bone

  • close to one's heart

  • close to home

  • close up

    • (of a person's face) become blank and emotionless or hostile.

      ‘he didn't like her laughter and his face closed up angrily’
      • ‘His face closed up and he looked away from her, towards the forest.’
      • ‘She breaks off, her face closing up, her eyes darting away.’
      • ‘Peter turned away from him, his expression closing up.’
  • come close

    • Almost achieve or do.

      ‘he came close to calling the President a liar’
      • ‘They pressed forward in search of an equalizer, coming close on one occasion.’
      • ‘To date, almost a month later, his colleagues do not even have a suspect, never mind coming close to making an arrest.’
      • ‘It doesn't come close to achieving that target.’
      • ‘The battle for a place in the final roared on like a blazing furnace with both teams coming close to breaking the deadlock.’
      • ‘George Orwell nearly killed himself and half his family in its whirlpool, coming close to depriving the world of his last book, 1984.’
      • ‘Of course she knew where he was now, knew that he had come close to achieving his lofty goals, and she honoured him for that.’
      • ‘Alexander was the first to dream of world domination and to come close to achieving it.’
      • ‘However their forwards kept plugging away with Michael Long and Brian Carbury coming close to scoring on at least two occasions.’
      • ‘Whether he can come close to achieving as a manager what he achieved as a player remains to be seen.’
      • ‘The now ageing boat took a heavy battering struggling into head winds in the Red Sea, and, after coming close to foundering, limped into an Egyptian marina.’
  • too close for comfort

    • Dangerously or uncomfortably near.

      ‘the friendly stranger who suddenly comes too close for comfort’
      • ‘I absolutely refused to go anywhere near the wild dogs - they seemed way too close for comfort.’
      • ‘Inside you must know it was too close for comfort.’
      • ‘After some time, the snakes were getting too close for comfort and a couple of the village men frightened them off using long sticks with red cloth tied at one end.’
      • ‘She shifted away from him when he sat on the bed next to her, a little too close for comfort.’
      • ‘Instead, he inched closer, too close for comfort.’
      • ‘This was too close for comfort for all of us involved.’
      • ‘All he did was take one step, and suddenly, he was too close for comfort.’
      • ‘More and more we are witnessing hurricanes passing this way, too close for comfort.’
      • ‘He had sent me to get a bone scan and it was showing that I had significant bone loss - not quite osteoporosis - but too close for comfort.’
      • ‘That was too close for comfort - he had almost given himself away.’
  • close to the wind

    • (of a sailing vessel) pointed as near as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing while still making headway.

      • ‘Bill Davison took a course close to the wind, which paid off on the first race.’
      • ‘As every good captain knows, a schooner that's sailing a bit too close to the wind often goes slower and runs the risk of being put about on the wrong tack (sailing in the wrong direction).’


Middle English: from Old French clos (as noun and adjective), from Latin clausum ‘enclosure’ and clausus ‘closed’, past participle of claudere.




Main definitions of close in US English:

: close1close2



  • 1Move or cause to move so as to cover an opening.

    no object ‘she jumped into the train just as the doors were closing’
    with object ‘they had to close the window because of the insects’
    • ‘Not seeing anything unusual, he pulled his head in and Jon watched as the wide window closed.’
    • ‘I blew out the candles they had left burning last night and closed all the windows.’
    • ‘With doors closing around me, the only path seemed to be the illegal one.’
    • ‘Once outside she let the door close behind her and she took a deep breath of the night air.’
    • ‘Then I ran about the house, madly closing all the windows.’
    • ‘Doors should be closed and gaps blocked with pillows and sheets, anything to stop the spread of smoke and the occupants should await rescue.’
    • ‘He flattened his ears, closed his eyes tighter and pretended to snore.’
    • ‘The small figure looking out the window moved back and closed the shades tightly.’
    • ‘Finally the window closed and after latching it she tiptoed back into bed.’
    • ‘He left and I went around to all the windows and closed all the curtains, like he had asked.’
    • ‘Safely inside, many Americans tried to seal off the house from the night air by closing all the doors and windows.’
    • ‘He heard the door close, though not lock, then the soft padding of someone walking towards him.’
    • ‘Looking to the mouth of the alleyway Carl saw the woman in the blue dress climb into the limo and watched as the door closed and the window came down.’
    • ‘The sunshade on their terrace retracts, the windows close automatically whenever it starts to rain.’
    • ‘He appeared for no more than a minute, and did not speak, before the white curtains at his window were drawn closed.’
    • ‘My table rocked, my lamp fell and went out, and my window closed as if some thief had been surprised and had fled out into the night, shutting it behind him.’
    • ‘He folded his hands together, closed his eyes, and put his head on his folded hands and started to think.’
    • ‘In spite of Mrs Major locking all the doors, back and front and closing all the handy windows… they got in.’
    • ‘When I heard the door close I moved back farther on the bed to where the pillows were and cried into them.’
    • ‘She quickly threw in some books and took some other books out, before closing the locker again.’
    • ‘She locked all the windows, closed all the blinds, and curled up on the bed, shivering.’
    • ‘The window closed and he came out moments later, dressed in boxers and a baggy t-shirt.’
    • ‘Clasp your hands together and close your eyes and then say a few words of prayer.’
    shut, draw to, pull to, push to, slam
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Block up (a hole or opening)
      figurative ‘Stephen closed his ears to the sound’
      ‘glass doors close off the living room from the hall’
      • ‘New versions of the software are available that close the holes.’
      • ‘The Alliance pilots seemed to be a step ahead of him, however, for they were positioning themselves on all sides, closing any safe openings.’
      • ‘We patched up the fence and closed the holes.’
      • ‘The notes were to be played in ascending order by first closing all the holes, and then opening each in quick succession.’
      • ‘The animal can completely withdraw its body into its shell, closing the opening with a leathery hood.’
      • ‘This opening is closed by a solid slab of Pakistani onyx, which can be slid in and out of position.’
      • ‘He performed the first open-heart surgery in the world to close a hole in the heart with the help of a microchip camera.’
      • ‘Council taxpayers' money will be used to close the huge hole in Hampshire's local authority pension fund.’
      • ‘Adjustable iron plates were fitted into the table to close the opening when the saw was adjusted.’
      • ‘Charlie watched the silhouette of Joe shovel dirt into the grave and close the hole.’
      • ‘Ryan throws the engagement ring into the shaft and closes the opening.’
      • ‘Mary pressed the phone up hard against her ear, and closed the other one with her other hand.’
      • ‘The only solution is surgery to close the hole and reinforce the spot.’
      • ‘His body was too weak for the operation and they were unable to close the hole in his brains.’
      • ‘The authors used a platelet function analyser that timed platelets aggregating into a plug big enough to close a small hole in a membrane.’
      • ‘Her tongue pokes out with concentration and her face is screwed up in determination as she at last closes the hole.’
      • ‘They took the site offline for several hours Thursday to close the hole.’
      • ‘The surgery closes the opening and drains the fluid in the sac.’
      • ‘If there's a security hole in a piece of software, the hole can be closed or mitigated.’
      • ‘After we removed the tube from the mound wall, the termites immediately closed the hole.’
      block, block off, block up, stop up, plug, seal, seal off, seal up, shut off, shut up, cork, stopper, bung, bung up
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with object Bring two parts of (something) together so as to block its opening or bring it into a folded state.
      ‘Loretta closed her mouth’
      ‘Ron closed the book’
      • ‘I opened my mouth then closed it again, not able to come up with an answer without embarrassing myself.’
      • ‘She hesitated a moment, opening her mouth, but then closing it again.’
      • ‘I said as I rounded up to her as she was closing her Bible and packing away her notes.’
      • ‘‘I am,’ said Vilma, closing her diary and folding her arms.’
      • ‘Daryl closes his note book and walks over to them.’
      • ‘She closed her lips together when swallowing and dabbed her mouth when necessary to clear any excessive spillage from her lips.’
      • ‘I clapped the two sides of my book together to close it, hiding the note within its pages.’
      • ‘Damien took a last look at the book before closing it.’
      • ‘I looked down and closed my sketch book quickly, hoping he hadn't seen anything.’
      • ‘Without closing the record book she had been scanning Cale got up and strode anxiously to the main library corridor, then out through the double - doors that formed the entrance.’
      • ‘She brought her hand back to the book and closed it with a finger marking the place.’
      • ‘She closed her mouth and brought a cloth to clean up the mess.’
      • ‘She opened her mouth before closing it and looking at her papers.’
      • ‘I knew my mouth would go dry, and I would just end up opening and closing my mouth like a fish.’
      • ‘For the same reason, it is customary to kiss a sacred book when closing it and putting it away.’
      • ‘He shrugged, book marking the answer book and closing it, setting aside the rest of the student papers to be corrected later.’
      • ‘He disagrees with something or is confused, and he makes a move to say something by slightly opening his mouth, then closing it.’
      • ‘She shrieks, opening her mouth, closing it, then shaking her head with slow, ominous intent.’
      • ‘Miri joined her at the table and sat, closing the notebook and folding her hands.’
      • ‘His patience was rewarded after a few minutes when Matt gently put down the book without closing it and sighed.’
    3. 1.3close around/overno object Come into contact with (something) so as to encircle and hold it.
      ‘my fist closed around the weapon’
      • ‘His fingers closed around the sinewy handle of the knife the father had shown him, and he lifted it out of the drawer.’
      • ‘My fingers closed around a thin wrist, and my eyes met those of a boy's my age.’
      • ‘As his hands closed around a body he realised it was a squab.’
      • ‘He died of crush asphyxia after two metal bars under the chair closed around him, trapping his neck and upper chest, a pathologist told the inquest.’
      • ‘Seeing the look in my eye as I imagined my hands closing around his official collar and tie, he took a step backwards.’
      • ‘The nipple is visible again in the next shot as the baby's mouth closes around it.’
      come together, join, connect, come into contact, unite, form a circle
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4with object Make (an electric circuit) continuous.
      ‘this will cause a relay to operate and close the circuit’
      • ‘An electric circuit seemed to close, and a spark flashed forth.’
      • ‘In this way, the capsule can open and close an electric circuit depending on the angle at which it is tipped.’
      • ‘When the charges connect, effectively closing a circuit, electric energy flows along that jagged path.’
      • ‘The circuit closes when the particles reaches the ionosphere, the outer layer of the earth's atmosphere.’
      • ‘Contact of the electrodes with the apoplastic water film was signalled by the closing of the electrical circuit.’
  • 2Bring or come to an end.

    with object ‘the members were thanked for attending and the meeting was closed’
    no object ‘the concert closed with “Silent Night”’
    ‘the closing stages of the election campaign’
    • ‘The course is open to all corps, nominations close at the end of the year.’
    • ‘After a little wait, Nandor Tanczos made his way on stage to introduce the band, and from opening to closing note I loved every minute of it.’
    • ‘When the polls closed for the day at 5.30 pm university officials said nearly 5,000 people had cast their votes.’
    • ‘The vote for your choice from our Top 50 has now closed - see the result below.’
    • ‘The festival closes at 2pm with words of wisdom from Wigan scriptwriter Paul Finch who will conduct a question and answer session.’
    • ‘The video closes as Favour opens the kiln to show us the finished products, which have been treated with a transparent glaze.’
    • ‘As the meeting closed, Mr Hill talked about his confidence that Bradford would become a better place to live and work.’
    • ‘When bidding closed, the result was announced by Cllr Jepson following a meeting of full council.’
    • ‘Advanced registration for both meetings closes at midnight EDT on May 17, 2004.’
    • ‘Polls close at 9pm and results are already being called in five minutes later.’
    • ‘Refreshments were served by Beatrice and Betty Foster and the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.’
    • ‘Immediately after the polls had closed on Sunday, wrangling began over the formation of a new government in Berlin.’
    • ‘Nominations close on Friday, August 15 and winners will be announced in December.’
    • ‘Cliff Bradley gave a warm vote of thanks on behalf of members and the meeting closed.’
    • ‘Fist fights ensued before the convention closed, with Eisenhower as the nominee.’
    • ‘Light refreshments will be served, with the meeting closing at 8pm.’
    • ‘It was to be an early start the next day for filming in the town and lots of props, etc. to get ready, so the meeting closed earlier than usual.’
    • ‘For these reasons, it was my decision to advise that the case against her be closed at the screening stage…’
    • ‘And he is already making plans for the next stage of his career after Mamma Mia closes at the end of next year.’
    • ‘David Cham gave a warm vote of thanks and the meeting closed.’
    end, bring to an end, come to an end, conclude, finish, terminate, wind up, break off, halt, call a halt to, discontinue, dissolve
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1no object Finish speaking or writing.
      ‘we close with a point about truth’
      ‘Nellie's closing words’
      • ‘In closing I want to say a few words about my personal work.’
      • ‘In closing, I must leave the reader with the same word of caution that I began this section with.’
      • ‘In closing, a word of thanks for your tireless efforts in keeping us all informed of the latest UFO sightings.’
      • ‘In closing, I speculate that writing such a book is an unenviable task; it just invites criticism.’
      • ‘In closing, I would just like to give a word, or two of advice to the soap producers…’
      • ‘Before I close I would like to say a few words about genetic engineering.’
      • ‘I do not intend to take my full 10 minutes on this call, but I want to say a few words in closing as we members of the House speak in the third reading.’
      • ‘And now, reader, I am going to close here by a few words of plain application.’
      end, bring to an end, come to an end, conclude, finish, terminate, wind up, break off, halt, call a halt to, discontinue, dissolve
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with object Bring (a business transaction) to a satisfactory conclusion.
      ‘he closed a deal with a metal dealer’
      • ‘The identity of who the principals were was not in issue so long as a deal could be closed without a vendor take back mortgage.’
      • ‘This deal should have been closed at the public market.’
      • ‘Usually the tourists are attracted by the better rate and find out they have been tricked after the deal has been closed.’
      • ‘Rumours that the deal was about to be closed began racing through Fleet Street on Tuesday afternoon.’
      • ‘Maybe the real sales pros are out closing deals left and right, trying to stick a fork in the recession.’
      • ‘I am satisfied that the vendor had satisfied its obligations and was ready to close the transaction.’
      • ‘That philosophy stood him in good stead last year when he closed the biggest deal of his career to date.’
      • ‘If the deal had not been closed by this deadline, the BCC would have invited Erste Bank to negotiations.’
      • ‘This plan would see the company allegedly count revenue on the books before deals had actually been closed.’
      clinch, settle, secure, seal, set the seal on, confirm, guarantee, establish, transact, pull off, bring about, bring off
      View synonyms
  • 3no object (of a business, organization, or institution) cease to be in operation or accessible to the public, either permanently or at the end of a working day or other period of time.

    ‘the factory is to close with the loss of 150 jobs’
    with object ‘the country has been closed to outsiders for almost 50 years’
    • ‘Schools and businesses close at noon each day for two to three hours for a midday meal.’
    • ‘If the strike goes ahead it could see schools close, council services disrupted and hospitals affected.’
    • ‘Saving the business meant closing 550 of the 600 shops with the loss of thousands of jobs, a decision she says was one of the hardest she has had to take.’
    • ‘Protesters claim problems started after the motel business closed.’
    • ‘Other public buildings such as government offices and courts also closed.’
    • ‘It was raining, and most businesses had closed early to allow people to attend the rally.’
    • ‘The pair are campaigning for the reopening of the small police station, which closed to the public several years ago.’
    • ‘The pub building has been unoccupied since the business closed almost two years ago, and had fallen into disrepair.’
    • ‘The spokesman said the post office would stay closed until further notice.’
    • ‘More than 200 children were sent home and the school permanently closed following the outbreak earlier this year.’
    • ‘The age-old institution is closing forever next Tuesday due to lack of funds.’
    • ‘Ricci attempted to visit Peking in 1595 but found the city closed to foreigners.’
    • ‘Once they got to the mall, they realized that it was closed for renovation.’
    • ‘International travel would be stopped, schools closed and large public gatherings banned.’
    • ‘The most important thing is that while many businesses are closing, we are not.’
    • ‘The bank remained closed to the public for the rest of the day as investigations continued.’
    • ‘Shops and businesses in many towns closed to show their solidarity with the protest.’
    • ‘Schools and businesses closed across the country as Poland mourned its national hero.’
    • ‘As public transport stops before the clubs close, there are always people needing to get home by taxi.’
    • ‘Most nurseries closed to the public in the winter months.’
    cease activity, shut down, close down, cease production, cease operating, come to a halt, cease trading
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1with object Remove all the funds from (a bank account) and cease to use it.
      • ‘Mrs Smith, who is currently on holiday in Italy, has now closed the account and transferred funds into another.’
      • ‘As a sop, bank chiefs agreed to drop the fee for closing a current account - a charge that in effect penalised customers for moving their banking business.’
      • ‘The account will be closed shortly and the cheque handed over to the hospice.’
      • ‘Don't close your existing account and open a new one, or you'll lose your tax-free status!’
      • ‘But people who have a whole collection of cards that are gathering dust should consider cancelling them and closing the accounts.’
      • ‘I have delayed closing his bank account - it just hurt too much.’
      • ‘Ask for new credit cards, and close any existing bank accounts and open new ones.’
      • ‘If you close the account before the end of the 12 months, you'll be penalised to the tune of one month's interest.’
      • ‘He has cut up the credit card and closed his bank accounts.’
      • ‘You can close the Monthly Saver account at any time without penalty.’
      • ‘Eventually, I got around to closing my account and the encouragements to spend stopped.’
      • ‘Our organisation has been trying to close our current account and transfer these funds to another bank, but to no avail.’
      • ‘After 18 months, the husband closed the account and opened an account in his wife's name.’
      • ‘On the last banking day of the year he planned to close the joint bank account, and give his lover a weekly allowance in cash.’
      • ‘In many cases the account may have been closed years ago or may have been held by a person who is now deceased.’
      • ‘She closed her account in frustration over the poor performance of her portfolio.’
      • ‘Don't close the account, however, because you want to keep the credit established.’
      • ‘You can, however, close the account completely by giving three months notice.’
      • ‘When customers move banks, they do not always close the old account.’
      • ‘After my card was stolen, I decided to change banks and closed my existing accounts.’
    2. 3.2Computing with object Make (a data file) inaccessible after use, so that it is securely stored until required again.
      • ‘Once the last open descriptor to the file is closed, the file will no longer be accessible.’
      • ‘Once students close the computer file containing the test, the results of the exam are locked in and can't be changed.’
  • 4no object Gradually get nearer to someone or something.

    ‘they plotted a large group of aircraft about 130 miles away and closing fast’
    • ‘As I turned my head forward, I spied a large, white bird at my 1 o'clock position and closing fast.’
    • ‘But one of the heavy cruisers was maneuvering to intercept them, and was closing fast.’
    • ‘Jenson, it must have been frustrating feeling you couldn't go any faster and he was closing on you relentlessly.’
    • ‘By his estimate the Alliance starfighters were about two minutes away but closing fast.’
    • ‘Both of them had taken the weekend off to spend some time together before their wedding, which was only 4 months away, and closing fast.’
    • ‘He threw the throttle to ninety percent, closing fast on his quarry.’
    • ‘The boat was on our starboard quarter, a couple of miles out and closing.’
    • ‘Fergal Lynch, who is closing fast on his maiden century of winners, takes the mount on Gaelic Princess, who is expected to have too much speed for her rivals.’
    • ‘The Colombian's Williams is now closing fast on Button's BAR in fifth place.’
    • ‘In the distance, but closing fast, he heard the sound of an engine.’
    • ‘A few of the faster Predators were already closing on the small fleet of Nemesis ships.’
    • ‘They were less than fifty yards out and closing fast by the time everyone was up from under ground.’
    • ‘At this point the battleship King George V was only 200 miles away and closing fast.’
    • ‘With 35 minutes of the race to go, the Saleen was just 30 sec behind Brabham and closing fast enough to be right on his tail in the final ten minutes.’
    • ‘They were closing fast, but Justin was only ten feet from the door.’
    • ‘If an opposing guard is closing fast for a layup, let her go.’
    • ‘He has a knife… he's stabbing people with it… and he's closing on you fast.’
    • ‘The attacker is still running at him, perhaps ten yards away and closing fast, reaching for knives at his belt with each hand.’
    • ‘The enemy task force was only a half-klick away and closing fast.’
    • ‘Ten minutes had gone and the Kilkenny boys had yet to threaten the Offaly goal, St Brendanís were closing and closing fast.’
    catch up, creep up, near, approach, gain on someone, draw near, draw nearer, get near, get nearer, come near, come nearer, draw close, draw closer, get close, get closer, come close, come closer
    narrow, lessen, become smaller, grow smaller, make smaller, dwindle, diminish, reduce, shrink, contract, constrict, become narrower, get narrower, make narrower
    View synonyms


  • 1The end of an event or of a period of time or activity.

    ‘the afternoon drew to a close’
    • ‘The incident was brought to a close at midnight when the man came down from the roof.’
    • ‘The spirited crowd were said to be still dancing the night away when the ball drew to a close at 1 am.’
    • ‘By the time their set was coming to a close the band had the audience eating out of their hands.’
    • ‘Yet once our trip had come to a close we were left with the knowledge that when you really put your mind to some thing you can accomplish anything.’
    • ‘There is a lot to reflect on these days as the year draws to a close.’
    • ‘His desperate financial woes, it seems, will finally be coming to a close.’
    • ‘It's the return of the ice that you have to watch out for, and it was back with a vengeance as October came to a close.’
    • ‘The summer may be drawing to a close, but York Racecourse has still been pulling the crowds for its September meeting.’
    • ‘The intense planning and preparing over many weeks, even months, is now drawing a close.’
    • ‘It can be the year when we draw to a close this sorry chapter in our treatment of those with disabilities.’
    • ‘I have been with the company for 12 years and I feel that my time has come to a close.’
    • ‘After the national close of the campaign on August 12 the initiative will not be forgotten.’
    • ‘We couldn't have known it at the time, but eight years of unparalleled success were about to draw to a close.’
    • ‘This will bring to a close what was probably the most concentrated fund raising drive the parish has ever seen.’
    • ‘Now it appears the national herd may end up as low as 450,000-480,000 by the close of 2002.’
    • ‘It was only when my voice gave out completely that the day had to draw to a close.’
    • ‘Many of those rights found legal expression at the close of the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘A most enjoyable night was had by all and at the close a minimum of €1,000 had been raised.’
    • ‘The five-year project, which has disrupted many communities in Bradford, will draw to a close at the end of the year.’
    • ‘As my excited nerves calmed down, the interview wound its way to a close.’
    end, finish, conclusion, termination, cessation, completion
    bring to an end, finish, conclude, close, wind up, terminate, dissolve
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the close The end of a day's trading on a stock market.
      ‘at the close the Dow Jones average was down 13.52 points’
      • ‘Shares fell around three per cent at the close of trading yesterday.’
      • ‘Therefore, the real value of the mutual fund may be quite different from the calculated value at the close of the trading day.’
      • ‘The Dow had fallen more than 69 points in late trading before recovering at the close.’
      • ‘Shares in the club were 1.5 pence higher at 286.5 pence by the close of trade in London on Thursday.’
      • ‘When the pros are more bullish than amateurs, the pros will drive prices higher all day and into the close.’
      • ‘If big news breaks after the close of trading, a late trade can land a quick profit - or avoid a big loss.’
      • ‘It will also look closely into whether brokers handle orders near the close of the market fairly.’
      • ‘The termination is expected to occur after the close of trading on May 28.’
      • ‘The company's share price then finished at a new low of 2.7 cents at the close of trade yesterday.’
      • ‘Say a customer wanted to find out how many transactions it could run before the close of the stock market on a given day.’
      • ‘In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index is showing a fall of about 0.9 percent near the close.’
    2. 1.2Music The conclusion of a phrase; a cadence.
      • ‘As Consequence Music flies by, it continues to resound as it fades away in the distance when Rotifer gently brings it to a perfect close.’
      • ‘A double bar, usually with repeat marks, signifies the close of the first main section.’
      • ‘The orchestra takes its own stance leading the soloist towards an exciting close.’
  • 2The shutting of something, especially a door.

    ‘the door jerked to a close behind them’
    • ‘The door came to a close behind me.’
    • ‘He extends his hand toward the metal door, bringing it slamming to a close.’
    • ‘The music faded as the door swung to a close behind me.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • close something down (or close down)

    • Cause to cease or cease business or operation, especially permanently.

      ‘the government promised to close down the nuclear plants within twenty years’
      • ‘Seven of our 10 hospital theatres have been closed down because we do not have any money to do operations.’
      • ‘If you fail to follow the rules your business will be closed down permanently.’
      • ‘On current plans, over the next two decades, the UK will lose around nine gigawatts of generation capacity, as the old nuclear reactors are closed down.’
      • ‘However, it would not be difficult to close the company down should it break its commitment, he said.’
      • ‘I am thinking very hard about closing my businesses down because of it.’
      • ‘Britain's ageing nuclear power stations will have to be closed down soon.’
      • ‘The old facilities were closed down and are not in operation any more.’
      • ‘They had closed many cinemas down and were dismantling projectors for scrap.’
      • ‘Since then a large number of operating plants were closed down.’
      • ‘I suspect that those people will stay at home, and a lot of those businesses will be closed down as a result.’
      • ‘Following the latest vandalism attack on Dungarvan's Day Care Centre, there are increasing fears that management may be forced to close it down permanently.’
      close, shut down, cease activity, cease production, cease operating, come to a halt, cease trading
      View synonyms
  • close something out

    • Bring something to an end.

      ‘Steve tried to close out the conversation’
      • ‘Four times, three in the second half, Kerry led by five points and playing with an appreciable wind should really have closed the game out.’
      • ‘Track seven closes the album out with a beautiful, low-key ambient piece.’
      • ‘Thus, users have a total system that works from start to finish to automate the entire process from bidding the job to building the job to closing the job out.’
      • ‘I always look forward to closing activities out, getting them finished.’
      • ‘And the odd part is she never calls the police after this and in fact arranges to meet with him again the next day to sort of close this relationship out.’
      • ‘Project Managers make extra efforts in codifying the mistakes made and corrective steps taken before any project is closed out.’
      • ‘Last year we tended to sit back instead of closing the game out and getting the bonus.’
      • ‘Earl has really done a great job closing games out for us because of how well he shoots the ball and finishes shots for us.’
      • ‘I'm now reviewing all the open items on my to-do list at work and closing things out.’
      • ‘The lads just aren't experienced at closing games out so it's my job to work on that.’
  • close up

    • (of a person's face) become blank and emotionless or hostile.

      ‘he didn't like her laughter and his face closed up angrily’
      • ‘His face closed up and he looked away from her, towards the forest.’
      • ‘She breaks off, her face closing up, her eyes darting away.’
      • ‘Peter turned away from him, his expression closing up.’
  • close something up (or close up)

    • 1Cause to cease or cease operation or being used.

      ‘the broker advised me to close the house up for the time being’
      • ‘Two houses have been closed up for the winter already.’
      • ‘A newly paved road, financed by remittances, leads to a virtual ghost town where more than half the homes are closed up.’
      • ‘‘He stopped betting as the bookies closed up shop after the police decided to crack down on gambling,’ she explained.’
      • ‘Heritage listing, however, does not imply that a place would be closed up and treated as a museum piece.’
      • ‘Sometime in the middle of last year, the business pulled the plug - literally - and closed up shop.’
      • ‘Like I said, I'm this close to closing this business up.’
      • ‘The management company came by and ‘closed them up.’’
    • 2(of an opening) grow smaller or become blocked by something.

      ‘she felt her throat close up’
      • ‘He felt his throat close up, his heart stop, gooseflesh creep up every inch of his skin.’
      • ‘I felt my throat closing up, my palms getting sweaty.’
      • ‘If the hole closes up, the sinus can potentially become infected and fill up with pus again.’
      • ‘My throat began to close up as I struggled not to break down in tears.’
      • ‘Her throat was closing up, she could not swallow or breathe, and within five minutes she had lost consciousness.’
      • ‘My throat was closing up, and my heart thudded loudly in my chest.’
      • ‘She could feel her throat closing up and knew she was going to start crying any moment.’
      • ‘I choked on my own tears, and my throat closed up.’
      • ‘His throat closed up, his eyes filled with tears, his face flushed with anger and sorrow mixed.’
      • ‘She couldn't breathe; her throat was closing up.’
  • close with

    • Come near, especially so as to engage with (an enemy force).

      • ‘However, just as a leader that has never been in combat must train his unit to shoot, move, and communicate in battle, he must also train them to deal with the repercussions they will feel after closing with and destroying the enemy.’
      • ‘In order to gain time, closing with the enemy should proceed at maximum speed.’
      • ‘But they have also been unsuccessful in closing with the enemy.’
      • ‘How easy would it be for an infantryman to lose that focus and revert to his mindset of closing with and destroying the enemy?’
      • ‘Troops have traditionally been encouraged to roar when closing with the enemy, particularly to increase shock when springing an ambush.’
      • ‘In 1665, as the English fleet closed with the enemy, two of his shipmates had premonitions of death.’
      • ‘The only answer is to repackage the forces we currently have into a joint force that is capable of strategic maneuver, engaging the enemy from land, air and sea, and closing with and destroying him.’
      • ‘Maintaining weapons standoff and preventing enemy infantry from closing with the defending unit can overcome a lack of infantry support.’
      • ‘Ground forces have the ability to render a decisive outcome by closing with and destroying enemy forces.’
      • ‘Fortunately, combat arms units have means available to replicate and introduce men to the fear, anxiety, and adrenaline associated with closing with and destroying the enemy.’
  • close in (on)

    • 1Come nearer to someone being pursued.

      ‘the police were closing in on them’
      • ‘Hurricane Rita is tonight closing in on the Texas - Louisiana coast with 125-mile-an-hour winds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Detectives today believe they are closing in on a man described as a ‘real danger to women’ after receiving leads from the public.’
      • ‘He believes the police are closing in on his family and is afraid to go home.’
      • ‘With American troops quickly closing in, surrounding him on three sides, Weatherford's only escape was a bluff above the wintry Alabama River.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With the rebels closing in on the sprawling capital, many feared a battle for control between them and the president's militant supporters.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Gradually 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.’
        • ‘The darkness closed in on her, trapping her in profuse exhaustion and a dull throbbing pain.’
        • ‘The sun was setting now and darkness was closing in.’
        • ‘Finally we reach the visitor centre with darkness closing in, and as the engines are cut, an eerie silence falls again over the park.’
        • ‘For a long time he sat staring at him, night slowly closing in as his thoughts surrounded him.’
        • ‘She couldn't keep her eyes open anymore, the darkness closing in around her vision.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Deeper in the cave, the walls close in, darkness enfolds us, and we switch on our headlamps.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
      2. 1.2(of days) get successively shorter with the approach of the winter solstice.
        ‘November was closing in’
        • ‘With winter closing in, does someone in your family suffer from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder?’
        • ‘When trekking over mountains became too difficult and winter was closing in, the need to abandon personal possessions to speed up travel became imperative.’
        • ‘As the winter closes in and daylight vanishes, so does the plot.’
        • ‘And presumably it's already pretty cold and winter is closing in?’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Now that half term is over and with winter closing in again, your thoughts may be turning to summer holidays.’
        • ‘It's sure to be a winner with the nights closing in hard for the Winter.’
        • ‘When winter closes in, it gets easy to raid the refrigerator but hard to face the scale.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘But, with dark winter evenings closing in, there are still no signs up, and no evidence of any work on a pedestrian refuge.’


Middle English: from Old French clos-, stem of clore, from Latin claudere ‘to shut’.