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adverb \ˈnir\

Simple Definition of near

  • : close to someone or something in distance

  • : not far away in time

  • : almost or nearly

Full Definition of near

  1. 1 :  at, within, or to a short distance or time <sunset was drawing near>

  2. 2 :  almost, nearly <was near dead>

  3. 3 :  in a close or intimate manner :  closely <near related>

  4. 4 archaic :  in a frugal manner

Examples of near

  1. The plant was near dead when I got it.

  2. <as the campers grew cold, so they gravitated nearer to the campfire>

Origin of near

Middle English ner, partly from ner nearer, from Old English nēar, comparative of nēah nigh; partly from Old Norse nær nearer, comparative of nā- nigh — more at nigh

First Known Use: 13th century




Simple Definition of near

  • : close to (something or someone)

Full Definition of near

  1. :  close to <beaches near the city> <seemed to be near death>

Examples of near

  1. I left the box near the door.

  2. The cat won't go near fire.

  3. There are several beaches near here.

  4. She came home near midnight.

  5. We feared he was near death.

13th Century

First Known Use of near

13th century




Simple Definition of near

  • : located a short distance away

  • : not far away in time

  • —used to refer to the side, end, etc., that is closer

Full Definition of near

  1. 1 a :  not far distant in time, place, or degree <in the near future> b :  almost happening :  narrowly missed or avoided <a near win in the primary> <a near midair collision> c :  nearly not happening <a near escape>

  2. 2 :  closely related or intimately associated <her nearest and dearest friend>

  3. 3 a :  being the closer of two <the near side> b :  being the left-hand one of a pair <the near wheel of a cart>

  4. 4 :  direct, short <the nearest road>

  5. 5 :  stingy, closefisted

  6. 6 a :  closely resembling the standard or typical <a near desert> b :  approximating the genuine <near silk>

near·ness noun

Examples of near

  1. The nearest grocery store is three blocks away.

  2. The near side headlight is out.

14th Century

First Known Use of near

14th century




Simple Definition of near

  • : to come closer in space or time to someone or something

Full Definition of near

Examples of near

  1. As the date of the performance neared, we grew more and more anxious.

  2. He always cheers up when baseball season nears.

  3. The airplane began to descend as it neared the island.

  4. He must be nearing 80 years of age.

  5. The negotiators were nearing a decision.

Circa 1522

First Known Use of near

circa 1522

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up near? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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