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[klohs] /kloʊs/

a small, cramped place or position.
direct and close contact in a fight:
They met at close quarters, exchanging many quick jabs.
plural noun
a narrow cramped space or position
at close quarters

1753, originally nautical, also close-fights, “bulkheads fore and aft for men to stand behind in close engagements to fire on the enemy,” it reflects the confusion of close (v.) and close (adj.); “now understood of proximity, but orig. ‘closed’ space on ship-board where last stand could be made against boarders” [Weekley]. Cf. also closed-minded, a variant of close-minded attested from 1880s, with a sense of “shut” rather than “tight.”


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  • Closer

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  • Close-reach

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  • Close-reefed

    [klohs-reefd, klohz-] /ˈkloʊsˈrifd, ˈkloʊz-/ adjective, Nautical. 1. having most or all of the sail reefs taken in.

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