Definition of closely in US English:



  • 1With little or no space or time in between.

    ‘closely spaced homes’
    ‘the medical sergeant follows closely behind the squad’
    • ‘I refuse to walk closely behind another person because I don't want them to clutch their handbag or to pull their coat closer.’
    • ‘In closely spaced weaving, the pattern of intersections becomes visually subservient to the plane.’
    • ‘Most columns were closely spaced around one or more closed peripheries, and beams were made proportionately deeper.’
    • ‘Most of the work dances were so small scale in emphasis, that I wished the audience were gathered closely around the performance area.’
    • ‘After that mess of a movie, followed closely by further filmed nonsense about the Revolution, Hollywood is gearing up to release another re-edit of history.’
    • ‘Scanning the cafeteria, she found Charlotte and a few of the nurses huddled closely together around one of the tables.’
    • ‘He seated himself demurely with his legs drawn closely to one side, posing for the cameras as though for a fashion shoot.’
    • ‘I alighted here, followed closely by Grandpa and Lizzie on their onion quest.’
    • ‘We took our time, walking closely with one another to keep warm.’
    • ‘At Cologne, 14 closely scheduled arrivals and departures jockeyed for track space.’
    1. 1.1 In a narrowly enclosed way.
      ‘pens of closely confined fish’
      • ‘The terrain is an open grassy area encircled closely by trees.’
      • ‘If you're cooped up closely with people during the winter months, this unique formula is for you!’
      • ‘Even when he delivers a pass, it seems he's always being jostled about or too closely surrounded by enemy pass rushers.’
      • ‘The practice is first deemed illegal, then allowed in closely circumscribed places and times.’
      • ‘Entire generations of clans closely entombed in a blazing white slab, are meticulously maintained by the families of the deceased.’
      • ‘They were too closely imprisoned by the white winter and the endless dark.’
      • ‘The path is closely boxed in by poison oak.’
      • ‘It looked grand in pictures, but what I found was a sorry structure closely enclosed by more modern structures.’
      • ‘He was jealous, and held her closely caged.’
      • ‘The remainder of the British troops continue closely pent up in New York and Philadelphia, and in a suffering condition for provisions.’
    2. 1.2 In a way that involves only a small margin between the winner and loser.
      ‘a closely fought contest’
      • ‘The semifinals saw huge excitement with closely matched teams playing out tough matches.’
      • ‘The Democratic challenger conceded the closely battled election Wednesday.’
      • ‘Anti-bilingual education initiatives have passed easily in three states, while one was closely defeated here.’
      • ‘This was some of the most closely competed women's squash I have ever seen in the United States.’
      • ‘The election last week was closely won, but there are some real issues for us to look at.’
      • ‘The first quarter of the game was very closely played, with both sides getting plenty of chances.’
      • ‘In a tense, closely fought encounter, the boxers were level going into the last round.’
      • ‘With the controversial outcome of the closely victorious election, his party gained control of the presidency.’
      • ‘Both squads walked away from the closely waged matchup.’
      • ‘A demoralized and disheartened team could have been expected with this very closely conceded match.’
  • 2In a way that involves a strong resemblance or connection.

    ‘the students had to answer questions closely related to what they just learned’
    ‘the real-world injuries closely mirrored the university's experimental data’
    • ‘The pattern of wheat streak mosaic closely fit the pattern of hail in 1999.’
    • ‘Market values reflect more closely the economic circumstances of the day and will bring company valuations more closely in line with prevailing market conditions.’
    • ‘Postgraduate archaeology students can become members, if they are working on closely relevant subjects.’
    • ‘The digital object represents something intellectually closely akin to a printed book.’
    • ‘Weed removal in a new alfalfa seeding was closely associated with alfalfa yield.’
    • ‘Child labor has been closely connected to the lives and options of middle-class and upper-class children.’
    • ‘The rule appears consistently in treatises on patent law, where it is closely linked to the requirement that patentable processes must result in a physical transformation.’
    • ‘Most of us wind up with beliefs that closely resemble those of our parents and community.’
    • ‘This relates closely to the subsequent discussion of the benefits and costs of political conformity.’
    • ‘Those that closely mimic printed books have problems because they are not easy to read on-screen.’
    1. 2.1 In a collective or unified way.
      ‘we will be working closely with stakeholders’
      ‘the two companies collaborate closely’
      • ‘Working closely with school officials, they had already decided to try for an industrial, high-tech look.’
      • ‘Soon they will be still more closely united by a common submission to the committee.’
      • ‘Colleagues vie with each other for preferment, yet must closely collaborate to fend off competition from without.’
      • ‘I believe he can be rehabilitated, and I would be willing to work closely with others in making this possible.’
      • ‘Although they function closely together, language proficiency and academic achievement are two distinct constructs and should be measured separately.’
      • ‘A formal merger has taken place between two agencies that have closely cooperated on projects over the past three years.’
      • ‘There is a perception that the bureau has been acting closely with the police every step of the way.’
      • ‘On the front line of the expanding frontier is an elite of extremely powerful families, closely allied with local politicians.’
      • ‘Eisenhower had long favored a more closely unified defense establishment.’
      • ‘We worked closely together for two years, arguing nearly every day about the products we ended up creating together.’
    2. 2.2 Very affectionately or intimately.
      ‘he has bonded very closely with his Miami family’
      ‘both children are clearly very closely attached to their parents’
      • ‘She was always said to be closely attached to her father.’
      • ‘He became closely enamored with the area and after a while was sufficiently charmed with the winery.’
      • ‘His relations with Picasso remained essentially political, unlike the closely personal friendship with Matisse.’
      • ‘They have three very closely doting parents.’
      • ‘It made a break between the three hitherto closely united sisters.’
      • ‘They place high value on social and family life, so they are likely to remain closely connected to their loved ones during hospitalization.’
      • ‘She looked for a guy who isn't closely connected to his family.’
      • ‘When love flows through me, whether it is in a closely intimate relationship or in something more distant, I am happy.’
      • ‘She was closely devoted to her family.’
      • ‘He was closely united with her family, and had the trust of her brother.’
  • 3In a careful and attentive way.

    ‘patients have to be watched closely for side effects’
    • ‘The orchestra is governed by the musicians themselves, most of whom remain with the Philharmonic for a lifetime, closely protecting its artistic integrity.’
    • ‘A lot can go wrong with a building that's empty and not closely looked after, especially within the stagnant water of an air-conditioning tower.’
    • ‘Management of alcohol withdrawal in elderly persons should be closely supervised by a healthcare professional.’
    • ‘He closely oversees everything the company does.’
    • ‘We are finding that the closely tended garden of hadrons is abloom with exotic new growths.’
    • ‘After closely looking at the exhibits, I came to the conclusion that the presence of feathers on pterosaurs is very much a matter of speculation.’
    • ‘Close family members or personal contacts should be closely observed for any signs of infection.’
    • ‘There she worked closely ministering to women and children.’
    • ‘The opportunities described appear incomparably greater than those garnered by even the most closely nurtured venture-capital portfolio company.’
    • ‘If you have diabetes, you should aim to closely control your blood sugar levels.’
    1. 3.1 In a cautious or secretive way.
      ‘a closely guarded plan’
      • ‘The decision will be eyed closely by the airline industry and competitors, many of which have been denied state bailouts by the commission.’
      • ‘His family is closely shielding specifics about his condition.’
      • ‘The secret has been very closely kept.’
      • ‘He was subsequently closely supervised by the French authorities.’
      • ‘Occasionally, he said things that revealed he had been closely observing me in silence.’
      • ‘The long linen with the faded image of a bearded man is the object of centuries-old fascination and wonderment, and closely kept under wrap.’
      • ‘In future, his feelings would be kept closely buttoned up, and personal confessions avoided.’
      • ‘The steamy details were kept closely in check, known only by a few fortunate souls "in the loop."’
      • ‘We are told that they are well under control by the military, that they are closely overseen.’
      • ‘They have created a sizable, highly specialized, and closely controlled intelligence system.’