Definition of close adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kləʊs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kloʊs//
    (closer, closest) Friends, Family background
    jump to other results
  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 to each other 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 neighbour 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. 3  close (to somebody) knowing somebody 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. See related entries: Friends, Family background
  6. 4  near 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. 5  very involved in the work or activities of somebody else, usually seeing and talking to them regularly He is one of the prime minister'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. 7  close (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 colours, but this is the closest we could get.
  12. competition/election, etc.
  13. 8  won 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 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. private
  25. 14[not before noun] close (about something) not willing to give personal information about yourself He was close about his past.
  26. mean
  27. 15[not before noun] (British English) not liking to spend money She's always been very close with her money.
  28. phonetics
  29. 16 (also high) (of a vowel) produced with the mouth in a relatively closed position compare open
  30. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French clos (as noun and adjective), from Latin clausum ‘enclosure’ and clausus ‘closed’, past participle of claudere.Extra examples Get close to the microphone. He was quite close to his older brother. Keep close to me. The two sisters seemed very close. Their birthdays are very close together. The car came perilously close to running her down. Victory was tantalizingly close. He had a close shave when his brakes failed on the mountain road. It’s a desperately close race—I can’t quite see who is ahead. Jo is a very close friend. Phew! That was close—the motorbike nearly hit us. The California election looks too close to call as voters go to the polls. The invasion never happened but it was a close run thing. The organizers of the race are predicting a close finish. We’re a very close family. The unemployment total was close to 20% of the workforce. There’s a close resemblance between them.Idioms very near fighting at close quarters close to you in time or distance Help was at hand. The property is ideally located with all local amenities close at hand. (informal, especially North American English) used to tell somebody that their attempt or guess was almost but not quite successful (informal) a situation in which you only just manage to avoid an accident, etc. a situation in which success or failure is equally possible We got him out in the end, but it was a close thing.
    close/dear/near to somebody’s heart
    jump to other results
    having a lot of importance and interest for somebody
    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. See related entries: Embarrassment
    keep a close eye/watch on somebody/something
    jump to other results
    to watch somebody/something carefully Over the next few months we will keep a close eye on sales.
    so near that it is uncomfortable or dangerous Fans can get a little too close for comfort during her shows. (figurative) Their win was a close shave, definitely too close for comfort.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: close