Meaning of CLOSE in English


I. close 1 S1 W1 /kləʊz $ kloʊz/ BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: noun : close, ↑ closure , ↑ closing ; adjective : ↑ closed , ↑ closing ; verb : ↑ close ]

[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ close , ↑ closely ; verb : ↑ close ; noun : ↑ closeness ; adjective : ↑ close ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: clos , past participle of clore 'to close' , from Latin claudere ]

1 . SHUT [intransitive and transitive] to shut something in order to cover an opening, or to become shut in this way SYN shut OPP open ⇨ closed :

Would you mind if I closed the window?

She closed the curtains.

Let me do the car door – it won’t close properly.

Beth closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

She heard the door close behind her.

2 . MOVE PARTS TOGETHER [intransitive and transitive] to move the parts of something together so that there is no longer a space between them:

Anne closed her book and stood up.

3 . SHUT FOR PERIOD OF TIME [intransitive and transitive] ( also close up ) if a shop or building closes, or you close it, it stops being open to the public for a period of time OPP open SYN shut British English ⇨ closed :

The shops close at six.

Harry usually closes the store completely when he goes on vacation.

4 . STOP OPERATING [intransitive and transitive] ( also close down ) if a company, shop etc closes, or you close it, it stops operating permanently SYN shut down ⇨ closed :

We have reluctantly decided to close the factory.

The shop closed down some time last year.

5 . END [intransitive and transitive] to end or to make something end, especially in a particular way

close something with/by etc

I will now close the meeting by asking you to join me in a final toast.

close with

The movie closes with an emotional reunion in Prague.

closing remarks (=something you say at the end of a speech)

In her closing remarks, the judge urged the jury to consider the facts only.

6 . close an account to stop having and using a bank account or other financial account:

My husband closed all my credit card accounts without even asking me.

7 . IN MONEY MARKETS [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to be worth a particular amount of money at the end of a day’s ↑ trading (=the buying and selling of shares) on the ↑ stock exchange

close at

The dollar closed at 64p against the pound.

close up/down

Their shares closed 27p up (=worth 27p more) .

8 . close a deal/sale/contract etc to successfully agree a business deal, sale etc

9 . OFFER FINISHES [intransitive] to finish on a particular date SYN end :

Our special offer closes on June 3.

10 . MAKE DISTANCE/DIFFERENCE SMALLER [intransitive and transitive] to make the distance or difference between two things smaller:

an attempt to close the gap between the rich and poor

close on

The other car was closing on us fast.

11 . MAKE SOMETHING UNAVAILABLE [intransitive and transitive] to make taking part in an activity or using an opportunity no longer possible ⇨ closed :

Bidding for the painting will close on Friday.

The country has now closed its borders to all foreign nationals (=will not let foreigners in) .

The legislation aims to close a lot of legal loopholes.

12 . be closed if a subject is closed, you are no longer willing to discuss it:

It was a regrettable incident but I now consider the matter closed.

13 . close your doors (to somebody) to stop operating permanently:

In 1977 the Skyfame Aircraft Museum closed its doors to the public for the last time.

14 . close your mind to/against something to refuse to think about something:

She wanted to close her mind to the outside world.

15 . HOLD SOMETHING [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive] if someone’s hands, arms etc close around something, or are closed around something, they hold it firmly

close (something) around/round/over etc something

Her left hand closed over his arm.

She closed her hand tightly around her bag.

16 . WOUND [intransitive and transitive] ( also close up ) if a wound closes, or if someone closes it, the edges grow together again or are sewn together:

The surgeon closed the incision neatly.

17 . close ranks

a) if people close ranks, they join together to protect each other, especially because their group, organization etc is being criticized

b) if soldiers close ranks, they stand closer together

18 . close the book on something to stop working on something, especially a police operation, because it is not making any progress:

Detectives had closed the book on the Hornsey Murders case three years previously.

⇨ ↑ closing date , ↑ closing time , ⇨ close/shut the door on something at ↑ door (9), ⇨ close your eyes to something at ↑ eye 1 (16)

• • •


▪ close to stop being open, or to make something stop being open. You use close and shut especially about your eyes, your mouth, a door, a window, or a container:

Can I close the window?


Her eyes slowly closed.


He closed the door gently, so as not to wake the children.

▪ shut to close something . Shut sometimes has a feeling of doing something quickly and firmly, whereas close sounds more careful:

He shut the door with a loud bang.


Shut your eyes and go to sleep.

▪ slam to close a door or lid quickly and noisily, especially because you are angry:

She left the room, slamming the door behind her.

▪ draw the curtains to close curtains by pulling them across a window:

The curtains were still drawn at ten o'clock in the morning.

▪ put the lid on something to close a container by putting a lid onto it:

Did you put the lid on the cookie jar?

▪ seal to close something so that no air or water can get in or out:

In this experiment, the chamber must be completely sealed.

close down phrasal verb

1 . close something ↔ down if a company, shop etc closes down or is closed down, it stops operating permanently:

Paramount closed down its London office in 1968.

2 . British English to stop broadcasting radio or television programmes at the end of the day:

BBC 2 closes down at 12:45 tonight.

close in phrasal verb

1 . to move closer to someone or something, especially in order to attack them:

The snake closed in for the kill.

close in on/around/upon etc

enemy soldiers closing in on them from all sides

2 . if the night, bad weather etc closes in, it becomes darker or gets worse:

The sun had set and dusk was closing in.

3 . if the days close in, they become shorter because it is autumn

close something ↔ off phrasal verb

to separate a road, room etc from the area around it so that people cannot go there or use it:

The roads into the docks were closed off by iron gates.

close on somebody/something phrasal verb

1 . to get nearer to someone or something that is moving in front or ahead of you:

The patrol car was rapidly closing on us.

2 . American English to successfully arrange a ↑ loan , especially in order to buy a house

close something ↔ out phrasal verb American English

1 . to finish in a particular way:

The bond market closed out the week on a strong note.

2 . if a store closes out a type of goods, they sell all of them cheaply:

We’re closing out this line of swimwear.

close up phrasal verb

1 . close something ↔ up if a shop or building closes up or is closed up, it stops being open to the public for a period of time:

The resorts are all closed up for the season.

2 . close up shop to stop doing something for a period of time or permanently:

When it rains, there is no alternative but to close up shop.

3 . if a group of people close up, they move closer together

4 . close something ↔ up if a wound closes up or if someone closes it up, the edges grow together again or are sewn together:

The scar is closing up nicely – it’ll soon be time to take the stitches out.

5 . to become narrower or to shut:

The flowers close up at night.

Occasionally the channel widened then closed up tight again.

6 . to refuse to talk to someone about something:

The moment I said I was a police officer, everyone would close up like a clam.

close with somebody/something phrasal verb

1 . to agree a business deal with someone:

It was such a good offer that I closed with him on the spot.

2 . literary to move towards someone in order to fight with them

II. close 2 S1 W1 /kləʊs $ kloʊs/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative closer , superlative closest )

[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ close , ↑ closely ; verb : ↑ close ; noun : ↑ closeness ; adjective : ↑ close ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: clos , from Latin clausus , past participle of claudere ; ⇨ ↑ close 1 ]

1 . NEAR not far from someone or something SYN near :

If you need to buy bread or milk, the closest shop is about a mile away.

close to

Susan sat on a chair close to the window.

I don’t mind where we go on vacation as long as it’s close to a beach.

His eyes were small and close together.

There are several accounts of dolphins living in close proximity to humans (=close to humans) .

The victim had been shot at close range (=from very close) .

2 . NEAR IN TIME near to something in time

close to

It was close to 1:15 a.m.

close together

Our birthdays are quite close together.

3 . LIKELY TO HAPPEN seeming very likely to happen or very likely to do something soon

close to doing something

The two countries are close to signing a peace agreement.

We’re close to clinching the deal.

close to death/tears/despair etc

The old dog could barely whimper and seemed close to death.

The prosecution’s main witness was close to tears as she described the assault.

4 . LIKE/LOVE if two people are close, they like or love each other very much:

My brother and I are very close.

close to

I felt closer to Rob that evening than ever before.

Fiona and I have always been close friends.

5 . SIMILAR very similar to each other

close to

When I saw Henry with another woman I felt something close to jealousy.

Fitt was the closest thing to a socialist in the party.

Their newest model bears a close resemblance to (=is very similar to) that of their rival competitor.

6 . CAREFUL [usually before noun] looking at, thinking about, or watching something very carefully ⇨ closely

take/have/get a close look (at something)

She lifted up Jenny’s silver medallion to take a closer look.

keep a close watch/eye on (=watch someone or something very carefully)

Don’t worry, I’ll keep a close eye on the kids.

You could have improved your answers by closer attention to detail.

7 . NUMBER/AMOUNT if a number or amount is close to another number or amount, it is not much higher or lower than it:

We don’t know the exact figures, but about 10,000 might be a close approximation (=close to the actual figure) .

close to

Inflation is close to 7 percent.

8 . COMPETITION/ELECTION ETC finishing or being played, fought etc with both sides almost equal:

It was a close game that could have gone either way.

a close second/third etc (=very nearly first, second etc)

The result is too close to call (=so close that it is impossible to know who will win) .

9 . close relation/relative a member of your family such as your brother, sister, parent etc OPP distant :

The wedding was attended by close family only.

10 . VERY NEARLY BAD used when you have only just managed to avoid something bad, dangerous, or embarrassing happening:

‘Phew, that was close,’ Frank said as he swerved to avoid the cyclist.

a close call/thing/shave (=a situation in which something dangerous, embarrassing etc almost happens)

United had a close shave when Liverpool almost scored.

11 . ALMOST very nearly getting, finding, or achieving something

close to

At this point, the investigators were closer to the truth than they realized.

12 . keep in close contact/touch if two people keep in close contact, they see, talk to, or write to each other often:

Text messaging enables people to keep in close contact at all times.

13 . WORK/TALK TOGETHER relating to a situation in which people work well with each other or talk to each other often:

He retained very close links with France throughout his life.

What we need now is closer cooperation between the club and supporters.

14 . WITH LITTLE SPACE with little or no space around something or between things:

The horses are always eager for exercise after the close confinement of the stables.

The shoe is a close fit (=there is no space around the foot) .

I find it difficult to read such close print (=with letters printed so close together) .

15 . close/you’re close/that’s close spoken used to tell someone that they have almost guessed or answered something correctly:

‘I reckon he must be about 38.’ ‘Close – he was 40 last week.’

16 . close to the bone if something someone says is close to the bone, it makes you feel uncomfortable or offends you, especially because it is about something you do not want to admit is true

17 . close, but no cigar spoken used when something someone does or says is almost correct or successful:

It was close, but no cigar for the Dodgers as they lost to the Reds 4–3.

18 . too close for comfort if something that happens is too close for comfort, it is near enough to make you feel nervous or afraid:

From somewhere too close for comfort came the sound of machine-gun fire.

19 . close to home

a) if a remark or criticism is close to home, it makes you feel uncomfortable because it is likely to be true:

His comments struck unpleasantly close to home.

b) if something unpleasant happens close to home, you are directly affected by it:

It’s one thing seeing riots on TV, but when they happen so close to home it’s a different matter.

20 . at close quarters if something happens or is done at close quarters, it happens inside a small space or is done from a short distance away:

The troops had been fighting at close quarters.

21 . WEATHER British English uncomfortably warm because there seems to be no air:

The weather that night was hot and close, with a hint of thunder in the distance.

22 . UNWILLING TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING [not before noun] unwilling to tell people about something SYN secretive

close about

You’re very close about your work, aren’t you?

23 . UNWILLING TO SPEND MONEY [not before noun] not generous

close with

You won’t get a penny out of Jack – he’s very close with his money.

24 . a close shave when the hair on someone’s face is cut very close to the skin

25 . close work work that involves looking at or handling things in a very skilful, detailed, and careful way:

After years of close work, she could hardly see a thing if it was over a yard away.

26 . close vowel technical a close vowel is pronounced with only a small space between the tongue and the top of the mouth

—closeness noun [uncountable] :

She had never had the physical or emotional closeness that she needed.

⇨ play your cards close to your chest at ↑ card 1 (14)

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 6)

■ phrases

▪ take/get a close look

She moved forward to take a close look at the painting.

▪ keep a close eye/watch on somebody/something (=watch someone or something carefully)

They have to keep a close eye on their finances.

■ nouns

▪ a close examination

A closer examination of the facts soon solved the mystery.

▪ a close study

Their research involved a close study of two communities.

▪ close attention

You will lose weight if you combine exercise with close attention to your diet.

▪ close scrutiny (=careful and thorough examination of someone or something)

The investigation included close scrutiny of the images on CCTV.

▪ close inspection (=looking at someone or something in detail)

Closer inspection revealed that the rocks were from an earlier period.

▪ close supervision (=constantly making sure that someone does things in the correct way)

Initially there will be close supervision of the trainee.

• • •


▪ similar adjective almost the same:

Jo said she’d had a similar experience.


The colours are very similar, but I like this one best.

▪ like preposition similar to something or someone else:

It tastes a little like chicken.


She still looks like a teenager.

▪ alike adjective [not before noun] very similar - used especially about the way people look or behave:

She and her sister look alike.


Lawyers are all alike - I don’t trust them.

▪ close adjective very similar:

The film bears a close resemblance to real life (=is very similar) .


The painting is remarkably close to the original.

▪ much the same very similar:

The glass is still made in much the same way as it was 100 years ago.


People are much the same, wherever you go.


She still looks very much the same.

▪ identical adjective exactly the same:

The two computers were identical in design.


identical names

▪ matching adjective having the same colour, style, pattern etc as something else - used about clothes or furniture that you wear or use together:

She wore matching silver shoes and handbag.


a dining table and matching chairs

▪ akin to something formal fairly similar to something:

These dialects are akin to Arabic, though different in several respects.

III. close 3 S2 W2 /kləʊs $ kloʊs/ BrE AmE adverb

[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ close , ↑ closely ; verb : ↑ close ; noun : ↑ closeness ; adjective : ↑ close ]

1 . not far away SYN near :

Come a little closer, so you can see better.

Her father lives quite close by.

They were sitting close together on the couch.

A variety of good restaurants are close at hand (=very near) .

James heard footsteps close behind him.

Ronnie sped off, with his brother’s car following close behind.

stay/keep close

We must all stay close.

hold/draw somebody close (=hold someone against your body)

He drew her close to him.

2 . close up/up close/close to from only a short distance away:

Now that I could see him close up, I saw that he was very attractive.

3 . close on something/close to something spoken used to talk about a number, amount etc that is almost exact, but not completely:

a voyage of close on 2,000 miles

4 . come close (to doing something)

a) to almost do something:

I tell you, I was so mad I came close to hitting her.

She came so close to the finals she must have been bitterly disappointed to go out now.

b) to be almost as good as someone or something else:

It’s not as good as his last movie, but it comes pretty close.

5 . a close run thing British English a situation in which the people competing with each other are almost equal, so neither of them is more likely to win than the other:

The upcoming election looks likely to be a close run thing.

6 . close on the heels of something very soon after something else

come/follow close on the heels of something

Yet another scandal followed close on the heels of the senator’s resignation.

7 . near to the surface of something:

An electric razor doesn’t really shave as close as a blade.

8 . run somebody close British English to be almost as successful, skilful etc as someone else:

Last season United ran them close both at home and away.

⇨ sail close to the wind at ↑ sail 1 (6)

• • •


▪ near only a short distance from something or someone:

I live near Salzburg in Austria.


If we moved to Dallas, we’d be near my parents.

▪ close very near something or someone, or almost touching them:

The hotel is close to the beach.


Nancy came and sat close beside me on the bed.

▪ not far (away) not a long distance away – used when saying that a place is near enough to be easy to get to:

The station’s not far away from here.

▪ nearby near here or near a particular place:

Is there a post office nearby?


A group of reporters were waiting nearby.

▪ within walking distance (of something) easy to walk to from somewhere, or near enough to something for you to walk there:

There’s a good school within walking distance.


The house is within walking distance of shopping facilities.

▪ be convenient for something British English , be convenient to something American English to be near a place that people want to get to, so that the place is easy to reach:

The area is very convenient for Gatwick airport.


I want a hotel that’s convenient for the city centre.

▪ locally in or near the area where you are or the area you are talking about:

I prefer to buy fruit and vegetables that are grown locally.

▪ around here ( also round here British English ) spoken in the general area near here:

Parking is impossible around here.


Is there a garage round here?

▪ in the neighbourhood British English , in the neighborhood American English living or existing in the area where you are or the area you are talking about:

We grew up knowing all the other kids in the neighbourhood.


There’s very little crime in the neighborhood.

▪ in the vicinity formal in the area around and near a particular place – used especially in news reports:

A white van was seen in the vicinity at the time the murder took place.

▪ neighbouring British English , neighboring American English used about towns, countries etc that are very near a particular place:

discussions between Egypt and neighbouring states


The rioting quickly spread to neighbouring areas.

IV. close 4 /kləʊz $ kloʊz/ BrE AmE noun

[singular] formal the end of an activity or of a period of time:

At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was 1.92 points down.

The monsoon season was drawing to a close (=ending) .

The event came to a close (=finished) with a disco.

Finally the meeting was brought to a close (=ended) .

• • •


■ Actions when using a computer

▪ start up/boot up to make a computer start working:

I’m having problems starting up my computer.

▪ log on/in to start using a computer system by typing your name and password:

He logged on and read his emails.

▪ click on something to press a button on a computer mouse to choose a program, file etc from the screen:

When you click on the link, it sends you to the company’s website.

▪ install to add new software to a computer so that the software is ready to be used:

All users should install anti-virus software.

▪ download to move information, pictures, or music from the Internet onto your computer:

You can download MP3 files.

▪ upload to move information, pictures, or music from your computer to a different computer across the Internet:

Sites such as YouTube allow you to upload your own videos.

▪ open to make a file or program ready to use:

Open a new file and type in the information.

▪ scroll up/down to move information on a computer screen up or down so that you can read it:

Scroll down to read the questions and answers.

▪ enter to type information into a computer:

The program requires you to enter a password.

▪ delete to remove information from a computer:

I’ve deleted his email.


When you delete a file, it first gets moved to the recycle bin.

▪ cut and paste to remove information from one place and put it in another place:

Tutors are looking out for students who cut and paste their essays from the Internet.

▪ save to make a computer keep the work that you have done on it:

Make sure you save any work you do before you shut the computer down.

▪ close to stop having a file or program ready to use:

To close the window, click on the ‘X’ in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

▪ log off/out to stop using a computer system by giving it particular instructions:

I get an error message when I log off.

▪ shut down to make a computer stop working:

Employees should shut their computers down at the end of each day.

▪ restart/reboot to make a computer start working again:

Wait a few minutes before rebooting your computer.

V. close 5 /kləʊs $ kloʊs/ BrE AmE noun British English

1 . [singular] used in street names for a road that has only one way in or out:

Take a left turn into Brown’s Close.

2 . [countable usually singular] the area and buildings surrounding a ↑ cathedral

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.