at close quarters


at close quarters

at close quarters

Crowded, in a confined space, as in We could use a lot more room; this tiny office puts us at close quarters. This idiom makes figurative use of quarters in the sense of “military lodgings” but originated in 18th-century naval warfare. When the enemy boarded a ship, the crew would retreat behind wooden barriers erected for this purpose and would continue to fire through loopholes. They thus were very near the enemy, fighting in close quarters. [c. 1800]

Related Words for at close quarters neighboring, immediate, warm, adjoining, adjacent, nearby, near, burning, touching, ready, close, bordering, abutting, nigh, abreast, alongside, around, available, beside, conterminous

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