Definition of close in (on) in US English:

close in (on)

phrasal verb

  • 1Come nearer to someone being pursued.

    ‘the police were closing in on them’
    • ‘With the rebels closing in on the sprawling capital, many feared a battle for control between them and the president's militant supporters.’
    • ‘Hurricane Rita is tonight closing in on the Texas - Louisiana coast with 125-mile-an-hour winds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The FBI is believed to be closing in on him and think he still lives in the US.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Creditors were closing in on Mr Smith, who owed up to £450,000.’
    • ‘He believes the police are closing in on his family and is afraid to go home.’
    • ‘Detectives today believe they are closing in on a man described as a ‘real danger to women’ after receiving leads from the public.’
    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’
      • ‘She couldn't keep her eyes open anymore, the darkness closing in around her vision.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finally we reach the visitor centre with darkness closing in, and as the engines are cut, an eerie silence falls again over the park.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For a long time he sat staring at him, night slowly closing in as his thoughts surrounded him.’
      • ‘Deeper in the cave, the walls close in, darkness enfolds us, and we switch on our headlamps.’
      • ‘The darkness seemed to close in around him like a noxious cloud.’
      • ‘The sun was setting now and darkness was closing in.’
      • ‘The darkness closed in on her, trapping her in profuse exhaustion and a dull throbbing pain.’
    2. 1.2 (of days) get successively shorter with the approach of the winter solstice.
      ‘November was closing in’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's sure to be a winner with the nights closing in hard for the Winter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the winter closes in and daylight vanishes, so does the plot.’
      • ‘When winter closes in, it gets easy to raid the refrigerator but hard to face the scale.’