from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Being near in space or time.
  • adjective Being near in relationship.
  • adjective Bound by mutual interests, loyalties, or affections; intimate.
  • adjective Having little or no space between elements or parts; tight and compact.
  • adjective Being near the surface; short.
  • adjective Being on the brink of.
  • adjective Decided by a narrow margin; almost even.
  • adjective Faithful to the original.
  • adjective Very attentive; rigorous; thorough.
  • adjective Shut; closed.
  • adjective Shut in; enclosed.
  • adjective Confining or narrow; crowded.
  • adjective Fitting tightly.
  • adjective Warm and humid or stuffy.
  • adjective Confined to specific persons or groups.
  • adjective Strictly confined or guarded.
  • adjective Secretive; reticent.
  • adjective Giving or spending with reluctance; stingy.
  • adjective Not easily acquired; scarce.
  • adjective Linguistics Pronounced with the tongue near the palate, as the ee in meet. Used of vowels.
  • adjective Marked by more rather than less punctuation, especially commas.
  • intransitive verb To move (a door, for example) so that an opening or passage is covered or obstructed; shut.
  • intransitive verb To bar access to.
  • intransitive verb To fill or stop up.
  • intransitive verb To stop the operations of permanently or temporarily.
  • intransitive verb To make unavailable for use.
  • intransitive verb To bring to an end; terminate.
  • intransitive verb To bring together all the elements or parts of.
  • intransitive verb To join or unite; bring into contact.
  • intransitive verb To draw or bind together the edges of.
  • intransitive verb Sports To modify (one's stance), as in baseball or golf, by turning the body so that the forward shoulder and foot are closer to the intended point of impact with the ball.
  • intransitive verb To complete the final details or negotiations on.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To enclose on all sides.
  • intransitive verb To become shut.
  • intransitive verb To come to an end; finish.
  • intransitive verb To reach an agreement; come to terms.
  • intransitive verb To cease operation.
  • intransitive verb To be priced or listed at a specified amount when trading ends.
  • intransitive verb To engage at close quarters.
  • intransitive verb To draw near.
  • intransitive verb To come together.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To finish a game by protecting a lead. Used of relief pitchers.
  • noun The act of closing.
  • noun A conclusion; a finish.
  • noun Music The concluding part of a phrase or theme; a cadence.
  • noun An enclosed place, especially land surrounding or beside a cathedral or other building.
  • noun Chiefly British A narrow way or alley.
  • noun Archaic A fight at close quarters.
  • adverb In a close position or manner; closely.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English clos, closed, from Old French, from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere, to close. V., from Middle English closen, from Old French clore, clos-, from Latin claudere.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French clos, from Latin clausum, participle of claudo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English closen ("to close, enclose"), partly continuing (in altered form) earlier Middle English clusen ("to close"; from Old English clȳsan ("to close, shut"); compare beclose, forclose, etc.); and partly derived from the Middle English adjective clos ("close, shut up, confined, secret"), from Old French clos ("close, confined", adjective), from Latin clausus ("shut up", past participle), from claudere ("to bar, block, close, enclose, bring an end to, confine"), from Proto-Indo-European *klāw- (“key, hook, nail”), related to Latin clāvis ("key, deadbolt, bar"), clāvus ("nail, peg"), claustrum ("bar, bolt, barrier"), claustra ("dam, wall, barricade, stronghold"). Cognate with Ancient Greek κλείς ("bar, bolt, key"), German schließen ("to close, conclude, lock"), Dutch sluiten ("to close, conclude, lock"). Replaced Old English lūcan ("to close, lock, enclose").


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  • Contronymic in the sense: near vs. make inaccessible.

    January 27, 2007

  • See near.

    September 5, 2010