close ranks

(redirected from close lines)

close ranks

1. Literally, to move closer to the other troops while in a military formation. As soon as the captain called for us to close ranks, we all moved closer together.
2. By extension, to show support for someone or something, especially as a response to criticism. This phrase is typically applied to a group of people. Our family was sure to close ranks behind mom as she suffered public backlash during her campaign for mayor.
See also: close, rank

close ranks (with someone)

to join with someone in a cause, or agreement. We can fight this menace only if we close ranks. Let's all close ranks with Ann and adopt her suggestions.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

(behind someone or something) to support someone or something; to back someone or something. We will close ranks behind the party's nominee. Let's close ranks behind her and give her the support she needs.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

to move closer together in a military formation. The soldiers closed ranks and marched on the enemy in tight formation.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

Unite, work together, as in The members decided to close ranks and confront the president. This expression, dating from the late 1700s, comes from the military, where it denotes bringing troops into close order so there are no gaps in the fighting line. (A slightly earlier form was close lines.) It has been used figuratively since the mid-1800s.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

COMMON If the members of a group close ranks, they say things to show that they support each other totally when someone who is not in their group criticizes one of their members. Note: A rank of soldiers is a line of them standing side by side. They would more likely close ranks and support their president rather than abandon him in an election year. Cabinet ministers have closed ranks behind the Prime Minister, saying there was no question of his stepping down. Note: When soldiers close ranks, they stand closer together so that it is hard for anyone to break through the line.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

1 (of soldiers or police officers) come closer together in a line. 2 unite in order to defend common interests.
2 1998 Country Life The farming community stands to lose those privileges unless it closes ranks against the few who let the side down.
See also: close, rank

close ˈranks

(of the members of a profession, group, etc.) co-operate closely to protect and defend each other: Although the family quarrelled a good deal among themselves, they quickly closed ranks against any outsider who criticized one of them.
See also: close, rank

close ranks

Unite against a common opponent, present a united front. The term originated in the 1600s in the military, where it also was put as “to close files.” It alluded to the style of battle in which the troops were aligned side by side in neat rows; the order to “close ranks” meant to move the rows closer together, creating a seemingly impenetrable mass of men. The term was soon being used figuratively and became a cliché. For example, “Will the wankel [engine] be enough to sustain NSU as an independent motor company, or will NSU one day have to close ranks further with Citroen?” (Economist, Sept. 2, 1967).
See also: close, rank
References in classic literature ?
The great race of the day had just been run; and the close lines of people, on either side of the course, suddenly breaking up and pouring into it, imparted a new liveliness to the scene, which was again all busy movement.
Sands Bedwin, Bobachy Bahawder," and an &c., which the reader may fill at his pleasure through a dozen close lines of small type.
"The scale of the investment we are making will secure the future of Metro for decades to come, but means we do need to close lines at times, including when there are football matches taking place.
As he notes in reference to seminars in the preface to The Writing of Melancholy, they do not seek to conclude discussions, to close lines of research, but to open them.
Melonas added that mudslides have been a frequent source of trouble in Washington this winter and spring, forcing BNSF to close lines used by Amtrak freight and commuter trains.
Nippon Steel to close lines at iron mills to boost efficiency
"We will do all we can to minimise the disruption for passengers and, when we do close lines, a frequent replacement bus service will run."
"We will do all we can to minimise the disruption for passengers and when we do close lines, a frequent replacement bus service will run.
Weeks later, the SRA ordered a review to examine whether to raise fares, close lines and replace some services with buses, to cut its pounds 350m of annual subsidy.
Elfyn Llwyd, Plaid's parliamentary leader, said the Assembly government pleaded this month for the right to close lines to also be handed to Cardiff.
The SRA have made it clear that they are not seeking to close lines.''
We accept that fewer people travel by train during August bank holidays - providing a rare opportunity to close lines for long periods.