at close quarters


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at close quarters

In or occupying a cramped or rather small space with other people; the term "quarters" is a reference to military housing. I'm glad to be done with my student days. Living at close quarters with so many people just to afford rent is something I don't want to do again.
See also: close, quarter

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]
See also: close, quarter

at close quarters

If you do something or something happens at close quarters, you do it or it happens very near you. The only wolf which I have seen at really close quarters looked surprisingly gentle. The press was able to witness at close quarters the arguments going on.
See also: close, quarter

at ˌclose ˈquarters

from/within a very short distance: You have to examine the paint at close quarters in order to see the tiny scratches on it.
See also: close, quarter
References in periodicals archive ?
I've seen him at close quarters a few times and everyone he's faced has just not been able to live with him.
Corner pylons are covered with grey glazed tiles from a special local manufacturer and the red siding is protected from the weather by angled glass slats that produce a richer visual experience at close quarters.
It's an instinctive reaction to a stranger at close quarters.
They also control and navigate their way through a black hole, make a star explode, and explore, at close quarters, a rapidly rotating neutron star -- as small as a city and as massive as the sun.
CHILDREN were given a lesson in nature when they were introduced to several animals at close quarters.
If you want the chance to see the players from England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland at close quarters, simply answer the following question: Who is the manager of Scotland?
PADDY CRERAND has studied Sir Alex Ferguson at close quarters for years now and insists Martin O'Neill stands comparison.