Close-Minded or Closed-Minded – Definition and Examples

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? That’s the question, and one of many when it comes to the term “closed-minded.” I’ve seen it spelled in many ways and used in various contexts; I even get confused about which one is correct. So, let’s get the facts straight once and for all and see whether it’s close-minded or closed-minded and if you should use a hyphen.

Meaning of Closed-Minded

Close Minded or Closed Minded Definition Examples

We classify the term “closed-minded” as an adjective and use it to describe someone who’s not open to even considering new ideas or opinions. It’s usually due to their preconceived prejudices or beliefs.

Usually, a closed-minded person is even resistant to a simple change and probably won’t be receptive to talking about things that challenge their narrow way of thinking.

Close-Minded or Closed-Minded?

According to trusted dictionary sources like Merriam-Webster and Cambridge Dictionary, the correct form of the term is “closed-minded” because it suggests that the person’s mind is “closed” to new ideas or ways of thinking.

Closed Minded vs Close Minded Ngram
Closed minded and close minded usage trend.

But I’ve seen it used in both forms, and “close-minded” was once the more common of the two. It wasn’t until it became popular in the United States that it was changed to “closed-minded” to line up with its adjective use.

The best way to remember is to look at its opposite or antonym, which would be “open-minded.” The opposite of the adjective open is closed, so it would be “closed-minded.

Is Close-Minded Hyphenated?

Yes, the term “close-minded,” or more correctly, “closed-minded,” should be hyphenated when used as an adjective to describe someone and their behavior.

  • A closed-minded individual
  • A closed-minded approach

Is Closed-Minded an Idiom?

You’d think so, but “closed-minded” is not considered an idiom because an idiom is a word or phrase whose meaning isn’t literal. Now, in this case, a mind can’t literally be closed, which is why some people assume it’s an idiom. But, “closed-minded” is classed as a phrasal adjective.

Is Close-Minded an Insult?

It’s not always meant as an insult, but it can come across that way if you’re being rude to someone about their beliefs. We should respect others and their thoughts or religious beliefs, but it can be hard sometimes when it contradicts actual facts.

What Is the Antonym of Closed-Minded?

The simple antonym of “closed-minded” is “open-minded.” You’d use this term to describe someone open to receiving new information and entertaining new ideas or concepts they wouldn’t have thought of before.

What Is the Noun Form of Closed-Minded?

The noun form of “closed-minded” is “closed-mindedness.” It is what you’d use to describe the quality of being closed-minded.

  • His closed-mindedness is what caused the project to fail.

Synonyms for Closed-Minded

  • Narrow-minded
  • Bigoted
  • Inflexible
  • Rigid
  • Small-minded
  • Dogmatic
  • Intolerant
  • Prejudiced

Closed-Minded Examples in a Sentence

Close Minded or Closed Minded Definition Examples 1
  • The Democrat was criticized for his closed-minded approach to the debate over climate change.
  • My mother’s closed-minded attitude made it really hard for her to see my perspective on parenting.
  • Despite being presented with damning new evidence, Dave remained closed-minded on the issue of the robbery.
  • Jake’s closed-minded ways prevented him from considering alternative solutions that could have easily fixed the problem.
  • The closed-minded nature of the discussion at town hall left a lot of people feeling unheard.

Be Open-Minded

Being closed-minded isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it means you’re set in your ways and beliefs and are comfortable there. Some people just don’t want to change anything. But it can also mean that you’re blind to what’s right in front of you, and that can be bad when it comes to world views. Always keep an open mind to things; you never know what you’ll learn!

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