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


1 verb
close1 S1 W1


[intransitive and transitive] to shut something in order to cover an opening, or to become shut in this way [= shut; ≠ 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.

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.

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 [≠ open [= shut BrE; ↪ closed]:
The shops close at six.
Harry usually closes the store completely when he goes on vacation.

stop operating

[intransitive and transitive] also close down if a company, shop etc closes, or you close it, it stops operating permanently [= shut down; ↪ closed]:
We have reluctantly decided to close the factory.
The shop closed down some time last year.


[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.

close an account

BFB to stop having and using a bank account or other financial account:
My husband closed all my credit card accounts without even asking me.

in money markets

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]BFS 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).

close a deal/sale/contract etc

to successfully agree a business deal, sale etc

offer finishes

[intransitive] to finish on a particular date [= end]:
Our special offer closes on June 3.

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.

make something unavailable

[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.

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.

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.

close your mind to/against something

to refuse to think about something:
She wanted to close her mind to the outside world.

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.


also close up [intransitive and transitive] if a wound closes, or if someone closes it, the edges grow together again or are sewn together:
The surgeon closed the incision neatly.

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

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 eye1 (16)

close down

phrasal verb

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 EnglishAMT 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
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

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.

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

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

close, shut, lock, turn/switch off
In many contexts, the verbs close and shut can be used in exactly the same way Please close OR shut the gate. The windows were all closed OR shut. She closed OR shut her eyes. The store closes OR shuts at 7.!! Use close for a road, border, or airport All the crossing points on the border have been closed (NOT shut).!! Before a noun, use closed a closed door (NOT shut door)!! You cannot say 'close someone somewhere'. Use shut or lock to say that someone is put in a room or building and cannot get out They shut her (NOT closed her) in her bedroom. He was locked (NOT closed) in a cell. Use switch off or turn off with electrical things Will you turn off (NOT close) the TV? I switched off (NOT closed) all the lights.


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