Definition of near in English:

near

Line breaks: near
Pronunciation: /nɪə
 
/

adverb

1At or to a short distance away; nearby: a bomb exploded somewhere near [comparative]: she took a step nearer
More example sentences
  • Cars from near and far converged in the night to watch the mountains glow red.
  • He scares away anyone who comes near and then feels sorry for himself when he realizes he is alone.
  • After he moved in he didn't know if he would be able to sleep with her so near and not hold her in his arms.
2A short time away in the future: his retirement was drawing near
More example sentences
  • You think that the end of the world is near and somehow a welding helmet will save you.
  • The more I think about it, the more I think that Eddie just panics when it gets close near the end.
  • We were still winning and my moment of glory was drawing ever nearer.
3 [as submodifier] Almost: a near perfect fit
More example sentences
  • Depending on which story you read, the deal is either done, near done or not even close to being done.
  • She'll probably end up near obsessed with the guy but eventually see sense and move onto pastures new.
  • A cup, near filled with ale, was beside him, as was an ewer, and I could only hope he had drunk enough.
Synonyms
4 archaic or dialect Nearly: I near fell out of the chair
More example sentences
  • I near shrieked as he fell to the floor, a perfect, coin shaped hole, dotted between his eyebrows.
  • We damn near won against the most corrupt and well-oiled slime machine in history.
  • I damn near laughed at the pathetic expression on his face as he holds up his decapitated hand!

preposition

(also near to) Back to top  
1At or to a short distance away from (a place): the car park near the sawmill do you live near here? [superlative]: the table nearest the door
More example sentences
  • We had a home made wooden sledge and we took the crates and put it on the sledge and took them round to the houses near where we lived.
  • Far away in the distance somewhere back near the Cork road, hooters blared angrily as road rage mounted.
  • Emi collected the two bags from him and set them on the floor some distance away, near to the wooden Buddha whose empty gaze made him edgy.
Synonyms
close to, close by, not far (away) from, a short distance from, in the vicinity of, in the neighbourhood of, within reach of, a stone's throw away from, next to, adjacent to, alongside, bordering on, adjoining, abutting, contiguous with
informal within spitting distance of, {a hop, skip, and a jump away from}, within sniffing distance of
2A short period of time from: near the end of the war [comparative]: details will be given nearer the date
More example sentences
  • For a brief period near the end of the half, Ireland exerted pressure.
  • A two minute period near the end of the game determined the destiny of the trophy.
  • In early 1973 there were signs that this gloomy period was near its end.
3Close to (a state); verging on: she gave a tiny smile, brave but near tears she was near to death
More example sentences
  • The other two photographs are closer, and shows many birds dead, some near death and very few still standing.
  • He was losing weight at a dramatic rate and many of his closest friends feared he might be near death.
  • When we were doing our first DIY, I was near to despair at the amount that had to be done.
3.1A small amount below (another amount): temperatures near 2 million degrees
More example sentences
  • We here in Seattle had record temperatures,, somewhere near 100 degrees,, whew!
  • The women didn't expect to raise anything near the amount they have - let alone be offered movie deals.
  • She had many different kinds of food on her plate, but no where near the amount Hildor had.
4Similar to: a shape near to the original
More example sentences
  • The antiquarian revival of the later eighteenth century spawned an amazing attempt by Abraham Farley at reproducing the whole text in a form as near to the original as possible.
  • While Cuadra's comments have been translated, they are as near to the original as possible.

adjective

Back to top  
1Located a short distance away: a large house in the near distance [superlative]: I was a mile from the nearest village
More example sentences
  • Once over the top the survivors had a clear view of the building in the near distance.
  • Gardens and trees could be seen along the railway and highway, in contrast to the vast desert in the near distance.
  • From his map, he knows there is an oasis somewhere in the near distance.
Synonyms
close, nearby, not far off/away, close/near at hand, at hand, a stone's throw away, within reach, within range, accessible, handy, convenient, local, neighbouring, adjacent, next-door, adjoining, bordering, abutting, contiguous, proximate
2Only a short time ahead: the conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the near future
More example sentences
  • However, he insisted the EGM would be going ahead in the near future.
  • We are going ahead with that and there will be reserves in the near future.
  • Rudin says that a meeting with the judge who controls space allocation in Old City Hall is expected in the near future.
Synonyms
3Similar: [superlative]: walking in these shoes is the nearest thing to floating on air
3.1 [attributive] Close to being (the thing mentioned): his state of near despair a near disaster
More example sentences
  • Despite my near despair, I was in my usual seat yesterday afternoon.
  • A bullock cart, the cause of the near disaster, materialized from the flurry.
  • Durrant leaned in close to his newest acquaintance and spoke in a near whisper.
Synonyms
narrow, close, by a hair's breadth
informal by a whisker
3.2 [attributive] Having a close family connection: the loss of a child or other near relative
More example sentences
  • A near relative is the larger and better-known Chinese water chestnut.
  • Other fossil animals may be assignable to the Vetulicolia or their near relatives.
  • Many a times, even the near relatives do not reveal the information about the boy's family.
Synonyms
closely related, close, related, connected
4 [attributive] Located on the nearside of a vehicle: the near right-hand end window of the caravan Compare with off (sense 3) of the adjective).
5 archaic (Of a person) mean; miserly.
Synonyms
mean, miserly, niggardly, close-fisted, penny-pinching, cheese-paring, ungenerous, penurious, illiberal, close, grasping, Scrooge-like, stinting, sparing, frugal
informal tight-fisted, stingy, tight, mingy, money-grubbing, skinflinty
North American informal cheap
British vulgar slang tight-arsed, tight as a duck's arse

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Come near to; approach: soon the cab would be nearing Oxford Street [no object]: lunchtime neared
More example sentences
  • It was nearing lunchtime when they finally arrived at the palace gates.
  • Ali is first seen in Lawrence as a tiny dot on a desert horizon that shimmers in the heat; he gradually becomes more distinct as he nears the camera.
  • As this century nears the end, we know that our priorities aren't quite right.
Synonyms
approach, draw near/nearer to, get near/nearer to, get close/closer to, come towards, move towards, advance towards, close in onverge on, border on, approach, get close to, approximate to

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse nær 'nearer', comparative of , corresponding to Old English nēah 'nigh'.

Phrases

near at hand

Close in distance or time: help was near at hand
More example sentences
  • Although she would not look at him, she was always near at hand, so close that he felt he could feel the quickened beating of her heart.
  • ‘Use materials from near at hand,’ advises Massachusetts builder John Abrams.
  • They do need the comfort of having their relatives and friends near at hand and the knowledge that they are in the capable hands of a dedicated and caring staff of doctors and nurses.

near enough

British Sufficiently close to being the case for all practical purposes: this price was near enough the going rate for rent
More example sentences
  • ‘Hayley is a perfectionist and near enough is never good enough for her,’ she said.
  • In fact there's only half a mile or so to go, I can see the lights of the houses, but near enough is good enough, it will have to be.
  • Bonds were reasonably active, but closed unchanged (or near enough as makes no odds).

one's nearest and dearest

One’s close friends and relatives.
More example sentences
  • People I never would have met were it not for this little old weblog have become my nearest and dearest friends.
  • My birthday was really two weeks ago when my nearest and dearest friends took me out to dinner at Zin and prayed amazing things over me.
  • A frame of mind such as this may incline you to greater intimacy with your nearest and dearest.

so near and yet so far

A rueful comment on a narrow failure to achieve an aim.
More example sentences
  • ‘It is so near and yet so far,’ he says wistfully.
  • We were so near and yet so far from getting into the Champions League final.
  • ‘Looking back for me it was so near and yet so far,’ says Hastings of what was a difficult tour, the honour of leading the Lions tempered by ultimate defeat.

Derivatives

nearish

adjective
More example sentences
  • I was going to stay late tonight at work - need to be somewhere nearish at 7.30 ish.
  • Still, we had a good hard ride around the countryside, heading over towards the Suffolk borders (well, nearish to Newmarket) in order to get a bit of rolling countryside.
  • Part of me feels that that someone I'm going to marry is close by, and I'll realize it or find them sometime in the nearish future.

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