al·​most | \ ˈȯl-ˌmōst, ȯl-ˈ \

Definition of almost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very nearly but not exactly or entirely We're almost there. The work is almost done.



Definition of almost (Entry 2 of 2)

: very near but not quite an almost failure

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Synonyms & Antonyms for almost

Synonyms: Adverb

about, all but, borderline, fair [chiefly British], fairly, feckly [chiefly Scottish], more or less, most, much, near, nearly, next to, nigh, practically, somewhere, virtually, well-nigh

Synonyms: Adjective

approximate, comparative, near, relative

Antonyms: Adjective

absolute, complete, downright, out-and-out, outright, perfect, pure, unqualified

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Examples of almost in a Sentence


Analysts predict that rates will rise by almost 40 percent. Goats will eat almost anything.


burdened with impossibly high expectations, the movie came to be regarded as an almost failure
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Among the reasons for this is 238Pu's remarkable half-life of 87.7 years, which allows it to be used for well over a century while still producing almost the exact same heat. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Find a New Way To Create the Plutonium That Powers Deep Space Missions," 8 Jan. 2019 Such nebulous criticism seems almost of another time—at once totally unfounded, wildly unnecessary, and more than a little sexist. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 The light was so intense that the paint scorched and smoked And almost ignited ! Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Martha Stewart Posts Terrifying Photos After Her Makeup Mirror Almost "Ignited" Her Bathroom," 7 Jan. 2019 That matches up almost exactly with what Apple did with the iPhone XS and XR this year, but in the case of the S10, the cheapest Lite version will also be the smallest size. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Samsung Galaxy S10 renders show hole-punch camera, headphone jack, and no fingerprint sensor," 13 Dec. 2018 Though the dress is almost always the main event, a killer pair of going-out shoes is the icing on the cake. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Chicest Party Shoes to Wear on New Year’s Eve for Under $150," 27 Dec. 2018 Macy's is currently offering limited-time specials in almost every category, including fashion, bedding, jewelry, small appliances, and more. Lauren Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "The Only List of After-Christmas Sales You Need," 26 Dec. 2018 During his lifetime, spent almost entirely in captivity, Sudan's subspecies went extinct in the wild because of habitat degradation and poaching. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Discover's Images of the Year 2018," 20 Dec. 2018 If the 5th Circuit agrees with O’Connor, high-court review becomes very likely because the justices almost always weigh in when a federal law has been struck down. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "After judge’s ruling against Obamacare, what happens now?," 17 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

West made his triumphant return to Twitter last Friday after an almost year-long hiatus. NBC News, "Kanye West returns for a new album — and some Twitter philosophy," 21 Apr. 2018 Kentucky's almost year-old $45 million facility has a barber shop like Oregon, plus ventilated lockers with phone charging stations and a dining area complete with a chef. Ron Higgins,, "Georgia: We've got a D.J. booth in our locker room! Clemson: So what? We have Dabo World!!," 20 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'almost.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of almost


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1529, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for almost

Adverb and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English ealmǣst, from eall + mǣst most

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Statistics for almost

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for almost

The first known use of almost was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for almost


al·​most | \ ˈȯl-ˌmōst \

Kids Definition of almost

: only a little less than : very nearly We're almost finished.

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More from Merriam-Webster on almost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with almost

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for almost

Spanish Central: Translation of almost

Nglish: Translation of almost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of almost for Arabic Speakers

Comments on almost

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


a complex dispute or argument

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