To closen or not to closen?

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jpstephen

New Member
UK
British English
Hey,

I was looking for the direct translation of a Spanish verb <-----Spanish word removed by moderator (Florentia52)-----> to an English verb (i.e. a single word, not a phrase). It means "to bring together" but not completely (such as "connect" or "combine"), just "to make closer"... which is why the word "closen" came to me but I wanted to double check it is a real word - so I googled it.

The results were quite mixed. It is listed in a few dictionaries, including the Merriam Webster online dictionary but in British dictionaries and I could not see many instances of its usage.

Is this a real word?
Is it American English?

Can anybody shed any light on this? Also, if anybody knows of a different verb I could use, I would also be very grateful.

Thanks!
 
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  • User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English
    I'm American, and I have never heard this word in my life either. (Of course, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but I have my doubts.)
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English
    Also, if anybody knows of a different verb I could use, I would also be very grateful
    Any particular reason it has to be a single word? The fact that something that can be expressed with a single word in one language could require a multiple-word verb phrase in English isn't especially strange or unusual.
     

    jpstephen

    New Member
    UK
    British English
    Any particular reason it has to be a single word? The fact that something that can be expressed with a single word in one language could require a multiple-word verb phrase in English isn't especially strange or unusual.
    It doesn't really matter. It's best to stick as close to the original translation as possible, without adding unnecessary verbiage, but it was also for my own interest.
     

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    It's best to stick as close to the original translation as possible, without adding unnecessary verbiage,
    I don't think anyone was proposing that you add either unnecessary words or verbiage. You got some good advice from user with no name and it's always good to appreciate that, rather than appear to dismiss it as beneath your consideration.

    The word you suggested is wrong for this situation. There might be some other words we could suggest, if it were clearer what exactly you need to convey. My first thought was 'approximate' but it may be that the meaning you need is closer to 'group' or even 'confound'.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I knew I had seen it somewhere ...

    The verb "to closen" does exist and is included in the OED. It is noted to be "rare"
    1. trans. To make close.
    2. intr. To become closer, close up.
    The transitive meaning is supported by two citations of the same writer in the same year (1860). :rolleyes: When the editor says "rare" he means it
    This word belongs in Frequency Band 2. Band 2 contains words which occur fewer than 0.01 times per million words in typical modern English usage. These are almost exclusively terms which are not part of normal discourse and would be unknown to most people. Many are technical terms from specialized discourses. Examples taken from the most frequently attested part of the band include decanate, ennead and scintillometer (nouns)...
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Can anybody shed any light on this? Also, if anybody knows of a different verb I could use, I would also be very grateful.
    It would help if, as per the rules, you gave a sentence. :thumbsup:

    OED
    closen /ˈkləʊs(ə)n/ (v.) rare
    1. trans. To make close.
    1860 A. L. Windsor Ethica v. 233 There was sufficient affinity to closen the tie of brotherhood.


    2. intr. To become closer, close up.
    1908 T. Hardy Dynasts iii. iii. iii The retreating-way, Along which wambling waggons..Have crept in closening file.
    1919 Edinb. Rev. Oct. 241 The sudden closening of intercourse.


    I have heard "closen up your bag" but that is dialect., and "the closening storm/tide of war, etc." which is not dialect. I have also read and used "closen on something".

    The alternative is "become closer" "draw together" "move towards [each other]"
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    "Closening" seems to occur fairly often, often collocated with "ties."

    Other uses of "closen" are, as said above, very rare. I think if you give the English sentence in which you are considering using the word, we can give you more information as to whether it sounds natural.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    As has been said, we need a sentence to prevent this from becoming a guessing game -- which is not allowed.

    Please refrain from answering until jpstephen has given us a sentence, along with some context.
     

    Notafrog

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Like Truffula, I'm pretty sure I've seen "closening of" more than a few times, especially "closening of ties".
    But like Keith Bradford, I've never heard the word "closen" on its own. It sounds to me like an attempt to make a verb out of a handy one-piece noun that just happens to end in "-ing". It's like inventing the verb "inkle" to go with inkling.
     

    DonnyB

    Member Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Unfortunately, in the absence of any indication from jpstephen as to how intended using this verb, we have no way of telling which (if any) of our alternatives would be suitable.

    I'm therefore now closing this thread - but thanks to everyone for their helpful suggestions. DonnyB - moderator.
     
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