close quarters, at/in

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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

close quarters, at/in

Crowded, in a confined space. The term comes from eighteenth-century naval warfare. Wooden barriers were placed at various points on a ship, so that when an enemy boarded, the crew could retreat behind them and fire at the enemy through loopholes. The crew then were said to be fighting in close quarters, that is, in close contact with the enemy. The term later was transferred to any close contact or crowded situation.
See also: close
References in periodicals archive ?
'Then, as the arms approached their final size, natural selection kicked in opportunistically and put them to good use for slashing at close quarters.'
Aside from close quarters and urban battle training, troops from the Philippines' 3rd Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division and the "Cacti" soldiers also held bilateral medical skills training, company-size attack exercises and cultural exchanges.
Second, in close quarters, the role of your offhand becomes critical because it will be used to defend, control or strike as appropriate.
Ideal for tight areas, the lift system can be removed with clearances of less than 12 inches, allowing a forked machine to become a close quarters crane.
After assessing both at close quarters, the men's eight world champion tipped Oxford to extend their recent dominance.
Tonight, they will be carefully examining at close quarters if he can belatedly build on an excellent goal at Everton and a brilliant assist at Fulham, as he ought to have done against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.
WATCHING the Boro training sessions at close quarters is fascinating stuff.
The knife was designed by Greg Thompson, founder of the US Army's Special Operations Combative Program (SOCP), a special operations program that focuses on advanced close quarters combat techniques.
The naming of Liverpool captain Gerrard as England skipper was expected, with Hodgson having seen the midfielder's leadership at close quarters during his time in charge at Liverpool.
The compact excavator is available in standard and long arm configurations, enabling operators to dig in close quarters or reach farther in a smaller space, depending on the task at hand.
"I thought I was a good coach but when I see Tommy working at close quarters I realise I am very ordinary.
Since they were kept in houses in close quarters, they were also not allowed to eat their natural diets (worms, weeds, etc.) or scratch for food, and were given antibiotics in their drinking water.
Experience the heat of battle at such close quarters you'll almost smell the fear, as winners become true heroes and losers are confined to dark, dank dungeons to be forgotten for eternity.
A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said six fire fighters wore breathing apparatus to get into the property to fight the blaze at close quarters.
This creates the ultimate tactical lighting system for entry, close quarters battle or home defense.