near

adverb
\ ˈnir \

Definition of near 

(Entry 1 of 4)

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

2 : almost, nearly was near dead

3 : in a close or intimate manner : closely near related

4 archaic : in a frugal manner

Definition of near (Entry 2 of 4)

: close to beaches near the city seemed to be near death

near

adjective

Definition of near (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : 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 : closely related or intimately associated her nearest and dearest friend

3a : being the closer of two the near side

b : being the left-hand one of a pair the near wheel of a cart

4 : direct, short the nearest road

6a : closely resembling the standard or typical a near desert

b : approximating the genuine near silk

near

verb
neared; nearing; nears

Definition of near (Entry 4 of 4)

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Other words from near

Adjective

nearness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for near

Synonyms: Adverb

about, approximately, around, like, more or less, much, plus or minus, roughly, say, some

Synonyms: Preposition

about, around, by, next to, nigh

Synonyms: Adjective

lifelike, living, natural, naturalistic (also naturalist), realistic, three-dimensional

Synonyms: Verb

approach, belly up, close, close in, come up, draw on, nigh

Antonyms: Adverb

exactly, precisely

Antonyms: Adjective

nonnatural, nonrealistic, unnatural, unrealistic

Antonyms: Verb

back (up or away), recede, retire, retreat, withdraw

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Examples of near in a Sentence

Adverb

The plant was near dead when I got it. as the campers grew cold, so they gravitated nearer to the campfire

Preposition

I left the box near the door. The cat won't go near fire. There are several beaches near here. She came home near midnight. We feared he was near death.

Adjective

The nearest grocery store is three blocks away. The near side headlight is out.

Verb

As the date of the performance neared, we grew more and more anxious. He always cheers up when baseball season nears. The airplane began to descend as it neared the island. He must be nearing 80 years of age. The negotiators were nearing a decision.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Will must go to near-impossible lengths to get into the building and save his family. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Skyscraper:' Big, dumb and kind of fun, thanks to Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell," 12 July 2018 Before stepping on, Debbie had a gutting and near-impossible goodbye with her baby son, who will be living with his dad Mark (Mad Men’s Rich Sommer) in L.A. while his mom kicks butt in Las Vegas. refinery29.com, "Does Glow Season 2 Actually Have A Happy Ending?," 29 June 2018 Finding that balance, especially as a 21 year old, is damn near impossible. Will Schube, Billboard, "Jimmy Wopo Would've Been Next Up in Pittsburgh's Burgeoning Rap Scene," 20 June 2018 The Spartans had a near-impossible task: mount a comeback against the tournament’s top team and one of the state’s top pitchers, Kara Zazzaro, who entered the game with a measly 0.29 ERA. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "High School Softball: No. 5 Amity, No. 2 Trumbull Advance To Class LL Finals," 4 June 2018 Add in JR Smith, whose appeal has forever eluded some of us, and the task becomes damned near impossible. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty's Morning Line: You can't make the MLB Draft fun and Allegiant Air sucks," 4 June 2018 My next near-impossible chore: talk you into getting out there this weekend and planting things once and for all. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s been a cool spring, but don’t be fooled. Now is the time to put plants in the ground.," 31 May 2018 Unfortunately, despite the filmmakers’ clear, creative effort to structure their tale dynamically, the constraints of keeping this true story truthful ultimately make effective pacing a near impossible challenge. Tom Russo, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Adrift’ stays on course, but it’s slow-going," 30 May 2018 And sipping on the drink, as his song advises, would’ve been near to impossible as the drink was 132 gallons total. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "Can't Sip This! Snoop Dogg Sets New World Record for Largest Glass of Gin and Juice," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

After a public outcry, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife dispatched a team to the area near Purcell’s home in the Placer County community of Clipper Gap. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Deer in distress from peanut butter jar is freed, Placer resident says," 12 July 2018 According to officials, Danuser was on his way to pick up his medication in the area near Earll Drive and 70th Street, in Scottsdale, and did not return home. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "85-year-old Phoenix man goes missing; Silver Alert issued," 12 July 2018 Flooding issues related to the Des Plaines River have long been a concern in Lincolnshire, which experienced record flooding in neighborhoods near the river following heavy storms in the summer of 2017. Todd Shields, chicagotribune.com, "Lincolnshire joins Lake County opposition to Foxconn development in Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 People crowded into a small area near the waterfront. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston’s streets do go in all sorts of directions. These charts prove it," 12 July 2018 Burns said the areas near and south of I-20 could be the most at risk of strong thunderstorms. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "THURSDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Storm chances ramp up as cold front approaches," 12 July 2018 The person said the letter described a scene in which a uniformed border agent observed a group of between 10 and 12 people walking in a restricted area in the United States near the Tornillo detention facility. New York Times, "Federal Officials Claim de Blasio Crossed Border Illegally," 11 July 2018 At one point a 36-acre greyhound race track was destined for the area near the park but that also never happened. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Sea-Arama in Galveston was an island attraction for decades," 11 July 2018 Elsewhere in the western U.S.: — A wildfire burning near the Columbia River on Tuesday prompted officials to evacuate the tiny central Washington town of Vantage and to close Interstate 90 in both directions for a time. Scott Sonner, The Seattle Times, "Crews gaining on huge Nevada wildfire visible from space," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Meanwhile, Brent for near-term delivery was only about 20 cents higher than later cargoes, a much smaller premium than in the U.S. market. Grant Smith, Bloomberg.com, "Oil Gains as Harder U.S. Stance on Iran Overshadows Saudi Pledge," 27 June 2018 This presents significant near-term obstacles to Bernie Sanders’s social democratic project. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez Proved That ‘Identity Politics’ Is an Asset For Berniecrats," 27 June 2018 It forces company management to focus on near-term performance out of fear of disappointing investors, rather than acting in the best long-term interests of their company and its shareholders. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Should companies end quarterly earnings guidance?," 15 June 2018 Antonio Johnson, 31, a production manager living in Brooklyn, has 40 houseplants and has no plans to stop buying in the near future. Amber Burton, WSJ, "Forget the Cat Ladies, Meet the Plant Parents," 11 July 2018 Much of the trail follows roads, but now that it has been officially designated, there is a high chance bike trails will be put in place in the near future, said Kim Nowell, SWWWW member. Quoron Walker, Courant Community, "Captain John Bissell Trail Officially Designated," 10 July 2018 Less well remembered is that much of the Corktown neighborhood on the near west side suffered the same fate. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Here's what you might not know about Corktown's history," 9 July 2018 In June, rumors swirled that the new couple were getting really serious and an engagement could be in their near future. Eileen Reslen, House Beautiful, "Christina El Moussa's Boyfriend Posts Heartfelt Love Letter In Honor Of Her Birthday Today," 9 July 2018 Next Up In Culture Command Line delivers daily updates from the near-future. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Why the hardest special effect on A Quiet Place was corn," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Retail leasing is nearing completion as well with 80 percent of storefronts already leased and the remaining 20 percent in the negotiation process. Jennifer Van Grove, sandiegouniontribune.com, "One Paseo: Inside the bustling construction site," 12 July 2018 At the time the team was trapped, Narongsak Osottanakorn was nearing the end of his term as governor of Chiang Rai province. Time, "Meet the Heroes Who Helped Keep 12 Boys Alive in a Flooded Thailand Cave," 11 July 2018 President Donald Trump is nearing a decision on a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy after a weekend of deliberation at his New Jersey golf club. Catherine Lucey, chicagotribune.com, "Trump nears decision on replacement for Supreme Court," 8 July 2018 Felipe Gutierrez, the owner of five goals in his first five MLS matches before undergoing sports hernia surgery, is also nearing a return. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Sporting KC scores twice after halftime but winless streak hits three against Toronto," 7 July 2018 Because of her age, Mei Xiang is nearing the end of her reproductive life. Rebecca Bratek, CBS News, "National Zoo's giant panda experiencing "pseudopregnancy," zoo says," 5 July 2018 The fire neared the Boy Scout’s Worth Ranch on Tuesday evening, but a changing direction of wind moved it back, said John Coyle, Scout Executive. Nichole Manna, star-telegram, "Large grass fire sparks in southwest Fort Worth; Palo Pinto fire continues to burn," 4 July 2018 Launched in 2007 with an ion engine, Dawn is nearing the end of its extended mission. Marcia Dunn, OrlandoSentinel.com, "NASA's Dawn spacecraft sending back close-ups of dwarf planet Ceres," 3 July 2018 With nine grand slams in less than two months, the Cincinnati Reds are nearing unprecedented levels. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds nearing historic number of grand slams this season," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'near.' 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 near

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Preposition

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1522, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for near

Adverb

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

Preposition

see near entry 1

Adjective

see near entry 1

Verb

see near entry 1

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Statistics for near

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for near

The first known use of near was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for near

near

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of near

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: close to someone or something in distance

: not far away in time

: almost or nearly

English Language Learners Definition of near (Entry 2 of 4)

: close to (something or someone)

near

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of near (Entry 3 of 4)

: located a short distance away

: not far away in time

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

near

verb

English Language Learners Definition of near (Entry 4 of 4)

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

near

adverb
\ ˈnir \
nearer; nearest

Kids Definition of near

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : at, within, or to a short distance or time Don't go any nearer. Night drew near.

2 : almost, nearly The weather was near perfect.

Kids Definition of near (Entry 2 of 4)

: close to We'll take a table near the window.

near

adjective
nearer; nearest

Kids Definition of near (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : closely related or associated a near relative

2 : not far away in distance or time the nearest exit the near future

3 : coming close : narrow a near miss

4 : being the closer of two the near side

Other words from near

nearness noun

near

verb
neared; nearing

Kids Definition of near (Entry 4 of 4)

: to come near : approach As they neared the burrow Willie … came galloping toward them … —Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill

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