American English

Definition of close adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (closer, closest)
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  1. 1[not usually before noun] close (to somebody/something) close (together) near in space or time Our new house is close to the school. I had no idea the beach was so close. The two buildings are close together. This is the closest we can get to the beach by car. We all have to work in close proximity (= near each other). The President was shot at close range (= from a short distance away). The children are close in age. Their birthdays are very close together. Which Word?near / close The adjectives near and close are often the same in meaning, but in some phrases only one of them may be used:the near future a near neighbor a near miss a close contest a close encounter a close call. Close is more often used to describe a relationship between people:a close friend close family close links. You do not usually use near in this way.
  2. almost/likely
  3. 2[not before noun] close to something close to doing something almost in a particular state; likely to do something soon He was close to tears. The new library is close to completion. She knew she was close to death. We are close to signing the agreement.
  4. relationship
  5. 3close (to somebody) knowing someone very well and liking them very much Jo is a very close friend. She is very close to her father. She and her father are very close. We're a very close family.
  6. 4near in family relationship close relatives, such as your mother and father, and brothers and sisters opposite distant The groom and his close family took their places.
  7. 5very involved in the work or activities of someone else, usually seeing and talking to them regularly He is one of the governor's closest advisers. The college has close links with many other institutions. She has kept in close contact with the victims' families. We keep in close touch with the police.
  8. careful
  9. 6[only before noun] careful and thorough Take a close look at this photograph. On closer examination, the painting proved to be a fake. Pay close attention to what I am telling you.
  10. similar
  11. 7close (to something) very similar to something else or to an amount There's a close resemblance (= they look very similar). His feeling for her was close to hatred. The total was close to 20% of the workforce. We tried to match the colors, but this is the closest we could get.
  12. competition/election, etc.
  13. 8won by only a small amount or distance a close contest/match/election It was a very close finish. I think it's going to be close. Our team came in a close second (= nearly won). The game was closer than the score suggests. The result is going to be too close to call (= either side may win).
  14. almost bad result
  15. 9used to describe something, usually a dangerous or unpleasant situation, that nearly happens Phew! That was close—that car nearly hit us. We caught the bus in the end but it was close (= we nearly missed it).
  16. without space
  17. 10with little or no space in between over 1,000 pages of close print The soldiers advanced in close formation.
  18. cut short
  19. 11cut very short, near to the skin a close haircut/shave
  20. guarded
  21. 12[only before noun] carefully guarded The donor's identity is a close secret. She was kept under close arrest.
  22. weather/room
  23. 13warm in an uncomfortable way because there does not seem to be enough fresh air synonym stuffy It's very close today—I think there's going to be a storm.
  24. phonetics
  25. 14(also high) (of a vowel) produced with the mouth in a relatively closed position compare open
    adverb I sat and watched everyone very closely (= carefully). He walked into the room, closely followed by the rest of the family. a closely contested election She closely resembled her mother at the same age. The two events are closely connected.
    noun [uncountable]
  28. Idioms
    at/from close quarters
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    very near fighting at close quarters
    close, but no cigar (informal)
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    used to tell someone that their attempt or guess was almost but not quite successful
    a close call/shave (informal)
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    a situation in which you only just manage to avoid an accident, etc.
    close/dear/near to somebody's heart
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    having a lot of importance and interest for someone
    close to home
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    if a remark or topic of discussion is close to home, it is accurate or connected with you in a way that makes you uncomfortable or embarrassed Her remarks about me were embarrassingly close to home.
    keep a close eye/watch on somebody/something
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    to watch someone or something carefully Over the next few months we will keep a close eye on sales.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: close