Definition of nearly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnirlē/


1Very close to; almost: David was nearly asleep a rise of nearly 25 percent
More example sentences
  • He led me into an alcove and stood close to me, so close our faces were nearly touching.
  • The buildings of New York take quite a beating and nearly disappear in a fusion fireball.
  • He once had a slender girlfriend with a mop of hair and a crooked, pale, nearly pretty face.
almost, just about, about, more or less, practically, virtually, all but, as good as, not far off, to all intents and purposes;
informal pretty much, pretty well
literary well-nigh
2Closely: in the absence of anyone more nearly related, I had been designated next of kin


not nearly

Nothing like; far from: you’re not nearly as clever as you think you are
More example sentences
  • It's patronising and slightly depressing but not nearly as horrible as the final film this week.
  • Up at half six, and on yet another train - not nearly as nice this time - shortly after eight.
  • Still, she's not nearly as bald as she was a year and a half ago, and she likes her new look well enough.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: near·ly

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