from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. close quarters
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. Barriers with loopholes, formerly erected on the deck of a vessel to shelter the men in a close engagement with an enemy's boarders; -- called also close quarters.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Nautical, bulkheads formerly erected fore and aft in a ship for the men to stand behind in close engagement in order to fire on the enemy. Also called close-quarters.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Had they pushed the attack home, the issue might have been different, but the sight of the close-fights frightened them.
With these for his close-fights, or war-girdles, he waved to the
_Fights_, I find, are _cloaths_ hung round the ship to conceal the men from the enemy, and _close-fights_ are _bulkheads_, or any other shelter that the fabrick of a ship affords.