Definition of closeness in US English:



  • 1The quality of being only a short distance away or apart in space or time.

    ‘the geographical closeness of our two countries’
    ‘the translator's closeness to the original time period’
    • ‘The headquarters' closeness to the local research community facilitates joint projects and the transfer of knowledge.’
    • ‘Given their closeness in time, it comes as no surprise to find these two buildings have certain features in common.’
    • ‘Food customs were not shaped by proximity to freshwater and ocean catches, or closeness to the border of another country.’
    • ‘Church seating and proximity to sacred space, in the form of closeness to the altar, were carefully regulated according to social status.’
    • ‘The weather is hot because of the country's closeness to the equator.’
    • ‘Its closeness to the canalized river must have provided plentiful water for irrigation of its trees and plants.’
    • ‘Not only was he craving closeness to the beach, he was charmed by the studio's location set in the historic area of trendy Fort Lauderdale.’
    • ‘This would involve her decision to have geographic closeness to her aging parents.’
    • ‘Though he approves of the road's closeness to the city center, he expresses concern at the proposed capacity of 50,000.’
    • ‘This will be governed by such issues as proximity to schools for the children, and closeness to key transport points.’
    1. 1.1 The state of being narrowly enclosed.
      ‘the claustrophobic closeness of the living quarters’
      • ‘The uncomfortable closeness of the diner, where virtually the whole film takes place, does add some sense of intensity.’
      • ‘Others complain of the meeting room’s closeness, the odors of past lunches, and noise through the walls.’
      • ‘The closeness of garbage informs the film, which dwells on images of the garbage truck and the two garbage men wrestling each other amid piles of rubbish.’
      • ‘The closeness of the space made the viewers feel as though they were in the picture with the figures.’
      • ‘He speculates that the closeness of the enclosure wall hid the burial mound from view.’
      • ‘In the stuffy closeness of the elevator, we count off the floors one by one until the ping signals that we’re at the top.’
      • ‘She is sweating in the musty closeness of the crawlspace.’
      • ‘It worked well in the space, with the closeness of the passageway and the angle of the walls.’
      • ‘The director opts for claustrophobic closeness over panorama.’
      • ‘I now liked the room for all of the reasons it was undesirable—for its airless closeness, for its darkness.’
    2. 1.2 The quality of having only a small margin between winner and loser.
      ‘the closeness of the race’
      ‘the scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the contest’
      • ‘Its supporters were dismayed by the defeat but heartened by the closeness of the vote.’
      • ‘He concludes that bilingualism was a failed social experiment because of the closeness of the referendum.’
      • ‘I think a greater effect will be the closeness of the margin in the Congress.’
      • ‘Discussion of a broad mandate for the president to enact his higher education agenda is premature, given the closeness of the election.’
      • ‘Everything is out of proportion, except the closeness of the electoral race.’
      • ‘Given the closeness of the eventual result, it seems likely that his monetary muscle may have been decisive.’
      • ‘This game illustrated the closeness of the competition in this league.’
      • ‘Because of the closeness of the presidential race, the role of the electors is being scrutinized as never before.’
      • ‘The closeness of the score made it exciting, but there were very few good individual plays.’
      • ‘The closeness of the defeat in many ways characterized their season, which ended with an 11-16 overall record.’
  • 2The quality of affection or intimacy in a relationship.

    ‘moments of closeness with friends and family members’
    • ‘The growing closeness between master and servant cannot go unnoticed, and it becomes a threat to the ordered household.’
    • ‘I missed the closeness we had once shared.’
    • ‘She was my sister, but it wasn't like a special closeness or something.’
    • ‘Their closeness conveys a subtle intimacy, as if each found her reflection in the mirror of the other's soul.’
    • ‘In 1965, such man/boy closeness was considered acceptable.’
    • ‘Rarely have I seen so much respect, attachment, and closeness between a teacher and his students.’
    • ‘He is troubled by his wife's increasing closeness with her platonic friend Brad.’
    • ‘He is not good at communicating, and he distrusts closeness or intimacy because of his experience of divorce.’
    • ‘He provides her with the closeness she desperately needs, and she finds someone to care for.’
    • ‘He felt better for his closeness to her, but still not happy.’
    1. 2.1 The quality or state of having a strong resemblance or connection.
      ‘apes are often selected due to their evolutionary closeness to humans’
      • ‘Because of the closeness of the words 'composition' and 'composure,' it might seem that the intellectual aspect of the activity is what matters most.’
      • ‘On the one hand, I think the closeness of the adaptation is really quite neat, but on the other, I wonder, "Why not just read the book?"’
      • ‘The closeness of her account to that of Teresa's childhood illness and cure means that, in many ways, she was indeed calling on the pre-written.’
      • ‘I am aware of the closeness of Cocteau's journal to my own designs, a closeness that is of the design anyway.’
      • ‘The closeness to, but difference from, the male fantasy provides a visual metaphor for the conflict between male and female representations of female space.’
      • ‘To appreciate the closeness of language and selfhood in his poetry, an awareness of the strong link between the two in 16th-century England is necessary.’
      • ‘Writers have noted this closeness between reading and writing, rather less anxiously than Eliot's essay does.’
      • ‘Critics vary somewhat in the closeness with which they make such general propositions fit individual writers.’
      • ‘Through the 1940s, this group of writers had an established literary, cultural closeness.’
      • ‘The primary question in the present context is whether this represents a closeness to known Shakespeare texts.’
  • 3The quality of being done in an attentive and thorough way.

    ‘the closeness with which he watched current events’
    • ‘The organizer of the festival has some unwelcome news for the superstar, who is known for the closeness with which he watches the purse strings.’
    • ‘They are known for their respect for individuality and the closeness of care.’
    • ‘My chief concern was the closeness with which he appeared able to monitor my movements.’
    • ‘Their familiarity with current events there demonstrates the closeness with which they watch all that passes in the old land.’
    • ‘I’ve have found it very pleasant, and I admire his closeness to detail.’