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

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 ?
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.
CAIRO, 29th August, 2019 (WAM) -- Ahmed Mohamed Al Jarwan, President of the World Council for Tolerance and Peace, Chairman of the General Union of Arab Experts, has urged Arab countries to close ranks in face of the challenges besetting the achievement of sustainable development goals.
But the May 13 elections are an opportunity for decent Filipinos to close ranks and tell it to his face that we've had it, we're done with him, enough is enough, by rejecting Duterte's mini-me senatorial candidates whose loyalty to the President supersedes their loyalty to country and people.
Party members need to rally around the legitimate leadership and close ranks to ensure the successful conduct of elections, the party Saturday said in a statement.
BAGHDAD / NINA / -President Barham Saleh and head of the Iraqi decision coalition Osama al-Nujaifi stressed the need to close ranks and coordinate efforts to preserve the national gains achieved.
This is how and where a nation should close ranks and unite.
The reality is Jeremy is too long in the tooth to fall for being cajoled into a vote of no confidence while the DUP's stance is uncertain, knowing the Tories will close ranks in such a vote.
Calling on Nnamdi Kanu to change strategy and embrace the hands of genuine Igbo brothers and leaders, the group called on the South East Governors to close ranks and rebuild the palace of HRH Eze I.
'I urge the people to close ranks against all kinds of threats particularly that emanating from the militants and extremists, ' he said.
Rafizi, who is vying for the PKR deputy president post in PKR's polls, said many candidates had offered themselves for leadership posts especially in Negri Sembilan and that his was a good sign but advised them to close ranks once the elections were over.
Summary: In times of crisis societies shed all petty squabbles, politics and recrimination and close ranks, and Lebanon is no exception.
He called on Arab League member States to close ranks in face of "agendas aimed at aggravating tensions in the region." --SPA 20:23 LOCAL TIME 17:23 GMT