close ranks

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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 periodicals archive ?
The country's political VIPs have all closed ranks and are supporting constitutional changes to enhance, among other things, inclusivity.
Individuals from groups such as Child Rights Network, Salinlahi, and Education Network Philippines closed ranks and called on legislators to halt moves to lower MACR and instead ensure protection of children and their rights.
Switzerland pushed for an equalizer but Sweden closed ranks at the back, keeping the sixth-ranked side in the world at bay to record their third clean sheet of the tournament.
Closed ranks "They closed ranks at the back but I am pleased with the goal.
But it seems the old boys network of these multi-millionaire pampered premier stars has closed ranks. There's no sportsmanship in that.
Hamas and Fatah officially closed ranks last week in Cairo after years of bitterness.
But North Korea, fearing more humiliation after their 7-0 hammering by Portugal, closed ranks after the break and only substitute Kalou could break through.
NEWCASTLE have closed ranks over allegations striker Andy Carrollwasinvolvedinatraininggroundbust-upthatleftdefender Steven Taylor nursing a broken jaw.
As usual, the public schoolboys in the boardroom kept schtum, closed ranks and left Fred hanging out to dry..
Yesterday, both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown closed ranks behind their Cabinet colleague, while a poll showed that Mr Prescott was retaining support among the public.
Mr Mandelson was caught up in controversy as all 25 EU commissioners in Brussels closed ranks, refusing to answer questions about how they spend their holidays and with whom.
He was unlucky to be turned down for a penalty by English referee Mike Riley in the second half when he tumbled after two German defenders closed ranks to baulk his run.
The air traffic community closed ranks behind the organisation to express its shock and to pass on condolences to the controller's family.
While the Berlin finance ministry issued calls for Welteke to step down, the Bundesbank's managing board closed ranks as it saw its institutional independence threatened.
In the past the racing fraternity and yes, that includes journalists and pundits like me, have closed ranks in defence of the sport.