Entries linking to closeness
(klōs), late 14c., "strictly confined," also "secret," 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.)); main sense shifting to "near" (late 15c.) by way of "closing the gap between two things." Related: Closely.
Meaning "narrowly confined, pent up" is late 14c. Meaning "near" in a figurative sense, of persons, from 1560s. Meaning "full of attention to detail" is from 1660s. Sense of "stingy, penurious" is from 1650s. Of contests, from 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."
word-forming element denoting action, quality, or state, attached to an adjective or past participle to form an abstract noun, from Old English -nes(s), from Proto-Germanic *in-assu- (cognates: Old Saxon -nissi, Middle Dutch -nisse, Dutch -nis, Old High German -nissa, German -nis, Gothic -inassus), from *-in-, originally belonging to the noun stem, + *-assu-, abstract noun suffix, probably from the same root as Latin -tudo (see -tude).
updated on May 28, 2013
their closeness grew as the night wore on
the sudden closeness of the dock sent him into action