Close is a very versatile word. As an adjective, it can mean "confined" or "almost"; as an adverb, it can mean "tightly" or "near"; as a noun, "an ending"; and as a verb, "to shut". The last term is the oldest- all the previous definitions were first attested in the late thirteen hundreds and come from the verb, which appeared circa 1200. In Middle English, this underwent a number of variations (such as closen, clusen, and clysan, all with the same meaning. All of this comes from the Old French word clos or clysan, which stems from Latin clausus, a word that could be better defined as "shut up". Clausus derives from claudere, which carried a whole slew of meanings, among them "block", "enclose", and "confine". A flexible term, just as close is today. After this, through Proto-Italic, we can go as far back as the Proto-Indo-European word klau, meaning "hook" (under the connection that hooks close things).
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.