1. In England, an incorporated town that is not a city; also, a town that sends members to parliament; in Scotland, a body corporate, consisting of the inhabitants of a certain district, erected by the sovereign, with a certain jurisdiction; in America, an incorporated town or village, as in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
2. The collective body of citizens or inhabitants of a borough; as, the borough voted to lay a tax.
Close borough, or Pocket borough, a borough having the right of sending a member to Parliament, whose nomination is in the hands of a single person.
Rotten borough, a name given to any borough which, at the time of the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832, contained but few voters, yet retained the privilege of sending a member to Parliament.
Close a. [Compar. Closer superl. Closest.]
1. Shut fast; closed; tight; as, a close box.
From a close bower this dainty music flowed. --Dryden.
2. Narrow; confined; as, a close alley; close quarters. “A close prison.”
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 prisoner.
5. Out of the way observation; secluded; secret; hidden. “He yet kept himself close because of Saul.”
=\“Her close intent.”\= --Spenser.
6. Disposed to keep secrets; secretive; reticent. “For secrecy, no lady closer.”
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 compass.”
9. Adjoining; near; either in space; time, or thought; -- often followed by to.
Plant the spring crocuses close to a wall. --Mortimer.
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. --Milton.
12. Nearly equal; almost evenly balanced; as, a close vote. “A close contest.”
13. Difficult to obtain; as, money is close.
14. Parsimonious; stingy. “A crusty old fellow, as close as a vise.”
15. Adhering strictly to a standard or original; exact; strict; as, a close translation.
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 own vacancies.
Close fertilization. Bot. See Fertilization.
Close harmony Mus., compact harmony, in which the tones composing each chord are not widely distributed over several octaves.
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.