Definition of close ranks in US English:

close ranks


  • 1(of soldiers or police officers) come closer together in a line.

    • ‘As the sons and daughters of professional Army officers, our impulse was to close ranks and stand where we were told to stand.’
    • ‘I think that when the police feel under attack they tend to close ranks.’
    1. 1.1 Unite in order to defend common interests.
      ‘the family had always closed ranks in times of crisis’
      • ‘It is not, however, clear that the community is united enough yet to effectively close ranks against coalition forces.’
      • ‘The teammates, all female, asserted that her terrifying behavior that day justified their permanently closing ranks against her.’
      • ‘But this morning, the Administration's best and brightest were closing ranks.’
      • ‘When an academic exposes some problem such as favouritism, plagiarism or sexual abuse, it is common for senior academics and administrators to close ranks and squelch open discussion.’
      • ‘Why don't we close ranks, to face these economic interests?’
      • ‘The food industry was closing ranks today over the prospect of introducing a traffic light-style scheme to label the healthiness of foods.’
      • ‘Their unprecedented public embrace confirmed the government was closing ranks against a common foe.’
      • ‘We should both call on all our supporters to prepare themselves to close ranks as Americans and unite the country behind the winner as soon as this process is complete.’
      • ‘But independent pharmacists are already closing ranks to fight any proposed changes.’
      • ‘Publicly, the party was one step closer to closing ranks.’