1. nearly opposite to the direction from which wind is coming
; - Example: "sailing close to the wind"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Close \Close\ (kl[=o]s), a. [Compar. Closer (kl[=o]"s[~e]r);
superl. Closest.] [Of. & F. clos, p. p. of clore. See
Close, v. t.]
1. Shut fast; closed; tight; as, a close box.
From a close bower this dainty music flowed.
2. Narrow; confined; as, a close alley; close quarters. "A
close prison." --Dickens.
3. Oppressive; without motion or ventilation; causing a
feeling of lassitude; -- said of the air, weather, etc.
If the rooms be low-roofed, or full of windows and
doors, the one maketh the air close, . . . and the
other maketh it exceeding unequal. --Bacon.
4. Strictly confined; carefully quarded; as, a close
5. Out of the way observation; secluded; secret; hidden. "He
yet kept himself close because of Saul." --1 Chron. xii. 1
"Her close intent." --Spenser.
6. Disposed to keep secrets; secretive; reticent. "For
secrecy, no lady closer." --Shak.
7. Having the parts near each other; dense; solid; compact;
as applied to bodies; viscous; tenacious; not volatile, as
applied to liquids.
The golden globe being put into a press, . . . the
water made itself way through the pores of that very
close metal. --Locke.
8. Concise; to the point; as, close reasoning. "Where the
original is close no version can reach it in the same
9. Adjoining; near; either in space; time, or thought; --
often followed by to.
Plant the spring crocuses close to a wall.
The thought of the Man of sorrows seemed a very
close thing -- not a faint hearsay. --G. Eliot.
10. Short; as, to cut grass or hair close.
11. Intimate; familiar; confidential.
League with you I seek
And mutual amity, so strait, so close,
That I with you must dwell, or you with me.
12. Nearly equal; almost evenly balanced; as, a close vote.
"A close contest." --Prescott.
13. Difficult to obtain; as, money is close. --Bartlett.
14. Parsimonious; stingy. "A crusty old fellow, as close as a
15. Adhering strictly to a standard or original; exact;
strict; as, a close translation. --Locke.
16. Accurate; careful; precise; also, attentive; undeviating;
strict; not wandering; as, a close observer.
17. (Phon.) Uttered with a relatively contracted opening of
the mouth, as certain sounds of e and o in French,
Italian, and German; -- opposed to open.
Close borough. See under Borough.
Close breeding. See under Breeding.
Close communion, communion in the Lord's supper, restricted
to those who have received baptism by immersion.
Close corporation, a body or corporation which fills its
Close fertilization. (Bot.) See Fertilization.
Close harmony (Mus.), compact harmony, in which the tones
composing each chord are not widely distributed over
Close time, a fixed period during which killing game or
catching certain fish is prohibited by law.
Close vowel (Pron.), a vowel which is pronounced with a
diminished aperture of the lips, or with contraction of
the cavity of the mouth.
Close to the wind (Naut.), directed as nearly to the point
from which the wind blows as it is possible to sail;
closehauled; -- said of a vessel.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
close to the wind
adv 1: nearly opposite to the direction from which wind is
coming; "sailing close to the wind"