- a small, cramped place or position.
- direct and close contact in a fight: They met at close quarters, exchanging many quick jabs.
Origin of close quarters
Examples from the Web for close quarters
The close-quarters projectile of to-day is more usually shrapnel with the fuze set at zero.
There was a flurrying exchange of close-quarters blows, Rorke spinning about so that his back was towards the referee.Buff: A Collie and other dog-stories
Albert Payson Terhune
Close-quarters may be on any point, and the seaman rather delights in the bow attack, using the bowsprit as his bridge.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
They snapped and barked, but had as yet come to no close-quarters since Tolleys adventure with the pepper-besprinkled Bible.The Heart of Canyon Pass
Thomas K. Holmes
- a narrow cramped space or position
- at close quarters
- engaged in hand-to-hand combat
- in close proximity; very near together
Word Origin and History for 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."