c. 1600, "something shaved off;" from shave (v.); The Middle English noun shave (Old English sceafa) meant "tool for shaving." The meaning "operation of shaving the beard" is from 1838. The meaning "motion so close to something as to almost touch it" is by 1834. The figurative phrase close shave "exceedingly narrow miss or escape" is from 1856, on the notion of a slight, grazing touch.
Middle English shaven, from Old English sceafan (strong verb, past tense scof, past participle scafen), "to scrape, shave, or pare away; to polish," from Proto-Germanic *skaban (source also of Old Norse skafa, Middle Dutch scaven, German schaben, Gothic skaban "scratch, shave, scrape"), from PIE *skabh-, collateral form of root *(s)kep- "to cut, to scrape, to hack" (for which see scabies).
Related: Shaved; shaving. Original strong verb status is preserved in past tense form shaven. As "remove the hair or beard of with a razor" from mid-13c. Intransitive sense of "shave oneself, remove the beard with a razor" is by 1715. The sense of "remove by slicing or paring action of a keen-edged instrument" is from late 14c., as is the general sense of "cut down gradually by taking off thin pieces." Figurative sense of "to strip (someone) of money or possessions" is attested from late 14c.
(klōz), late 14c., "act of closing, conclusion, termination," from close (v.). Also in early use "enclosure, enclosed space" (late 13c.), from Old French clos, noun use of the past participle. Specifically in music, "conclusion of a strain or passage," 1590s.
(klōz), c. 1200, "to shut, cover in," from Old French clos- (past participle stem of clore "to shut, to cut off from"), 12c., from Latin clausus, past participle of claudere "to shut, close; to block up, make inaccessible; put an end to; shut in, enclose, confine" (always -clusus, -cludere in compounds), from PIE root *klau- "hook," also "peg, nail, pin," all things used as locks or bolts in primitive structures.
Also partly from Old English beclysan "close in, shut up." Intransitive sense "become shut" is from late 14c. Meaning "draw near to" is from 1520s. Intransitive meaning "draw together, come together" is from 1550s, hence the idea in military verbal phrase close ranks (mid-17c.), later with figurative extensions. Meaning "bring to an end, finish" is from c. 1400; intransitive sense "come to an end" is from 1826. Of stock prices, from 1860. Meaning "bring together the parts of" (a book, etc.) is from 1560s. Related: Closed; closing.
(klōs), late 14c., "strictly confined," also "secret," in part a past-participle adjective from close (v.), in part from Old French clos "confined; concealed, secret; taciturn" (12c.), from Latin clausus "close, reserved," past-participle adjective from claudere "stop up, fasten, shut" (see close (v.)). The main sense shifted to "near" (late 15c.) from the verbal sense of "close the gap or opening between two things." Related: Closely.
In English, the meaning "narrowly confined, pent up" is from late 14c. The meaning "near" in a figurative sense, of persons, is from 1560s. The sense of "full of attention to detail" is from 1660s. The sense of "stingy, penurious" is from 1650s. Of races or other contests, by 1855.
Close call "narrow escape" is from 1866, in a quotation in an anecdote from 1863, possibly a term from the American Civil War; close shave in the figurative sense is 1820, American English. Close range (n.) "a short distance" is from 1814. Close-minded is attested from 1818. Close-fisted "penurious, miserly" is from c. 1600, on the notion of "keeping the hands tightly shut."
(klōs), "tightly, with no opening or space between," late 14c., from close (adj.).
"to shave and dress the hair," c.1600, from barber (n.). Related: Barbered; barbering.
1540s, "completely destroy," an alteration of racen "pull or knock down" (a building or town), from earlier rasen (14c.), etymologically "to scratch, slash, scrape, erase," from Old French raser "to scrape, shave," from Medieval Latin rasare, frequentative of Latin radere (past participle rasus) "to scrape, shave." This has cognates in Welsh rhathu, Breton rahein "to scrape, shave." Watkins says it is "possibly" from an extended form of the PIE root *red- "to scrape, scratch, gnaw." But de Vaan writes, "Since this word family is only found in Italo-Celtic, a PIE origin is uncertain." From 1560s as "shave off, remove by scraping," also "cut or wound slightly, graze." Related: Razed; razing.
c. 1300, rasour, "sharp-edged instrument for shaving or cutting hair," from Old French rasor, raseor "a razor" (12c.), from raser "to scrape, shave," from Medieval Latin rasare, frequentative of Latin radere (past participle rasus) "to scrape, shave" (see raze (v.)). Compare Medieval Latin rasorium.
As a verb, by 1827 as "shave with a razor," 1937 as "assault with a razor." The razor clam (1835, American English) is so called because its shell resembles an old folding straight-razor. Razor edge, figurative of sharpness or a fine surface, is by 1680s. Razor-blade is attested by 1816.