close ranks

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
References in classic literature ?
933-937) Also Cytherea bare to Ares the shield-piercer Panic and Fear, terrible gods who drive in disorder the close ranks of men in numbing war, with the help of Ares, sacker of towns: and Harmonia whom high-spirited Cadmus made his wife.
But no sooner did the herd, by some presumed wonderful instinct of the Sperm Whale, become notified of the three keels that were after them, --though as yet a mile in their rear, --than they rallied again, and forming in close ranks and battalions, so that their spouts all looked like flashing lines of stacked bayonets, moved on with redoubled velocity.
This gentle expression was the more interesting because the schoolmaster's nose, an irregular aquiline twisted a little on one side, had rather a formidable character; and his brow, moreover, had that peculiar tension which always impresses one as a sign of a keen impatient temperament: the blue veins stood out like cords under the transparent yellow skin, and this intimidating brow was softened by no tendency to baldness, for the grey bristly hair, cut down to about an inch in length, stood round it in as close ranks as ever.
Then Robin Hood gathered his band together in a close rank, with Will Stutely in the midst, and thus they moved slowly away toward Sherwood, and were gone, as a storm cloud moves away from the spot where a tempest has swept the land.
For his part, the defecting former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hejab thanked the Saudi King for his support to the Syrian opposition to close ranks and unify stances to launch a political process to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict.
NNA - Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullatif Darian on Friday highlighted the necessity to entrench Islamic and national unity, close ranks, and skirt disputes and quandaries, accentuating the role of Dar-al-Fatwa in anchoring love, tolerance, and coexistence among the Lebanese.
Summary: Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called Sunday on the Lebanese to close ranks to face together what he called "a looming wave of terrorism.
Like any family going through troubles, you close ranks.
However, tragedy strikes as the duo close in on the killer, and with Geordie's life hanging in the balance, the clergyman finds himself cut out of the investigation as the police close ranks.
He, nevertheless, called the various Palestinian factions to reconcile and close ranks to stand up to the Zionist entity.
Al-Araji confirmed that "to eliminate the terrorist operations we must to close ranks and cooperate with the security agencies in order to thwart an attempt to implement any terrorist plot intended to split the Iraqi people.
Some say our loyalty to kith and kin makes us close ranks when the joke's on us.
Syria's exiled opposition met on Tuesday to close ranks and forge a plan for a democratic Syria, in the first official gathering of activists since an uprising against Baathist rule erupted 10 weeks ago, Reuters reported.
Summary: The Tunisian Industry, Trade and Handicrafts Union (UTICA)'s National Transition Committee called, on Thursday, all Tunisian civil society components to close ranks to restore security and stability in the country, to make sure that the national economy recovers, to further invest and spare the Tunisian economy the risks of additional losses.
President al-Assad said it is important for the Arab summit to focus on efforts to close ranks, unite Arab stances and save the occupied Jerusalem from Israeli plots.