Difference Wiki

Close vs. Open: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 21, 2023
Close refers to shutting something or bringing things together; Open means to make something accessible or to spread apart.

Key Differences

Close is often used to indicate the action of sealing or securing something, like closing a door, which implies creating a barrier or restricting access. Open, conversely, denotes the act of making something accessible, such as opening a window, suggesting removal of barriers and promoting access.
In a figurative sense, close can mean to conclude or bring to an end, as in closing a discussion, indicating a finalization. Open, in a similar non-literal context, often implies initiating or starting something, like opening a debate, suggesting a beginning or introduction.
Close can describe physical proximity, denoting a short distance or a tight space, as in standing close to someone. Open, in contrast, might be used to describe an area that is unobstructed or spacious, indicating a sense of expansiveness or freedom.
In terms of relationships, close can signify intimacy or a strong bond, as in a close friendship. Open, when referring to relationships, often suggests transparency or willingness to share and communicate, as in an open conversation.
In communication, to close can mean to restrict or withhold information, like keeping one's plans close. Open, however, implies a readiness to share or disclose information, such as being open about one's feelings.

Comparison Chart

Physical State

Sealed or shut
Unlocked or spread apart

Interpersonal Aspect

Intimate or confidential
Transparent or communicative


Concluding or ending a discussion
Initiating or starting a dialogue

Spatial Relation

Proximity or nearness
Distance or expansiveness

Figurative Use

Finalization or completion of tasks
Beginning or introduction of tasks

Close and Open Definitions


To end a process or event.
The meeting will close with a vote.


To begin an activity or event.
The ceremony will open with a speech.


To reduce distance.
As the deadline approaches, we're closing in on the solution.


To be receptive or willing.
He's always open to new ideas.


To bring together or unite.
The crisis has close-knit the community.


To make available.
The new store opens tomorrow.


To shut something.
She will close the door quietly.


To spread out or expand.
She likes to open her arms wide when dancing.


To make unavailable.
The store closes at 8 PM.


To make accessible.
He will open the gate for guests.


Being near in space or time. See Usage Note at redundancy.


Affording unobstructed entrance and exit; not shut or closed.


Being near in relationship
Close relatives.


Affording unobstructed passage or view
Open waters.
The open countryside.


Is 'close' used to describe physical proximity?

Yes, 'close' can describe being near or next to something or someone.

Does 'close' have a meaning related to secrecy?

Yes, 'close' can imply confidentiality or keeping things private.

What does 'open' mean in a relationship context?

In relationships, 'open' often refers to transparency and communication.

Can 'close' mean to bring to an end?

Yes, 'close' can mean to conclude or finish something.

Can 'open' be used to mean start?

Yes, 'open' can be used to mean initiate or begin an event or process.

Can 'close' refer to an intimate relationship?

Yes, 'close' can describe a relationship with strong bonds or intimacy.

What does 'open' mean in the context of information?

'Open' can mean willing to share or disclose information.

Does 'close' have a spatial meaning?

Yes, 'close' can refer to being near or in close proximity.

Is 'open' used to describe physical spaces?

Yes, 'open' can describe a space that is unobstructed or spacious.

Can 'open' be used in a figurative sense?

Yes, 'open' can be used figuratively to denote willingness or readiness.

Does 'close' have a different meaning in sports?

In sports, 'close' can mean to reduce the distance or gap in a score.

Does 'open' have a legal context?

In legal terms, 'open' can refer to public or unrestricted cases or hearings.

Does 'close' mean to make unavailable?

Yes, 'close' can mean to shut or make something inaccessible.

Can 'open' refer to being receptive to ideas?

Yes, 'open' can mean being receptive or welcoming new ideas.

Is 'open' used in technology contexts?

Yes, 'open' can refer to making software or systems accessible.

What does 'close' mean in a business context?

In business, 'close' often means to conclude a deal or transaction.

Can 'open' describe a person's character?

Yes, an 'open' person is often seen as honest and transparent.

What does 'close' mean in the context of time?

'Close' can mean near in time, like close to a deadline.

What does 'open' mean in terms of availability?

'Open' can refer to something being available or accessible.

Can 'close' be used in a protective sense?

Yes, 'close' can imply protection or keeping something safe.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons