\ ˈnir How to pronounce near (audio) \

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

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


neared; nearing; nears

Definition of near (Entry 4 of 4)

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Other Words from near


nearness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for near

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Greater Cincinnati is going to have near-perfect weather for Independence Day, with sunny skies and temperatures above 90. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati weather: Independence Day will have sunny skies, highs above 90," 3 July 2020 Members of Congress who were involved in the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which passed both houses in a near-unanimous vote, used the opportunity to push for more pressure on China. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Uighur rights activists use reports of forced sterilization to push for more action from Trump," 30 June 2020 Close to 200 reviewers gave it a near-perfect rating on Nordstrom, with shoppers noting that its zippered and slit pockets offer up plenty of storage space. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "These best-selling Tory Burch bags just got a serious price cut," 26 June 2020 In fact, the series works as a near-perfect example of how to manage several concurrent themes, tangents and narratives at the same time, while never once failing to captivate the viewer. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ isn’t just another true-crime docuseries. It’s a brilliant look at how the genre pulls us in.," 25 June 2020 Twitter is an unprecedented platform that gives individuals a voice on a global scale, shaping conversations of our society near and far. Will Knight, Wired, "If Done Right, AI Could Make Policing Fairer," 25 June 2020 Last week, hundreds of people drove to Frankfort from near and far last in hopes of getting issues with their unemployment claim resolved, having waited in online and phone queues with no success. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "In-person unemployment help to be offered in several Kentucky cities in following weeks," 24 June 2020 Nearly 5,000 reviewers have given this beach essential a near-perfect four-and-a-half-star rating. Summer Cartwright, Travel + Leisure, "This Beach Umbrella Has Built-in Windows, SPF 50, and Air Ventilation (Video)," 17 June 2020 Vivosun's bags have racked up more than 5,200 reviews and a near-perfect 4.6-star rating. Summer Cartwright, Better Homes & Gardens, "These Fabric Grow Bags Are the Easiest Way to Start a Garden," 10 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Low storm chances will be possible mid-afternoon today near and east of the DFW area. Dallas News, "Staying hot and humid through the weekend," 6 June 2020 The mural ends near St. John’s Episcopal Church, where Trump staged a photo-op on Monday after officers in riot gear fired tear gas and charged demonstrators to make way for the president and his entourage. Ben Fox, Anchorage Daily News, "DC paints huge Black Lives Matter mural near White House," 5 June 2020 In April, Virgin Atlantic temporarily suspended all passenger flights after weeks of operating near-empty flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Virgin Atlantic to Resume Flights to the U.S. and Asia in July," 5 June 2020 Chaos inside the barbecue shack An LMPD officer fired pepper balls to disperse people near the barbecue shack, and then into the kitchen through the open door, video released by police shows. Kala Kachmar, The Courier-Journal, "David McAtee's barbecue stand was a safe haven. But one deadly night changed everything," 5 June 2020 For the most part, Black Mirror is a series extrapolating the dark ramifications of humanity’s obsession with technology to dystopian near-future settings. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Comparing US race issues to “Black Mirror” trivializes a real crisis," 5 June 2020 The path its leaders took in their efforts to lift weak growth, chronically low inflation and near-zero interest rates has been followed, repeatedly, by others in the rich world. The Economist, "Free exchange Japan probes the limits of economic policy," 4 June 2020 Prices reflect the storage glut: Henry Hub near-term futures are at $1.82 per million British thermal units, just 27 cents above their multiyear low... Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, "America’s Natural-Gas Woes Are Imported," 4 June 2020 Van Nuys had its hottest May ever recorded, and several other SoCal cities experienced near-record highs. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, "In CA: Sheriff tells people they're welcome to not use 911; waiting on 300 million masks," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Perkins believes those near or above the Pacers -- Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston, Miami and Philadelphia -- should be concerned. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, "NBA analyst is high on 'slept-on' Indiana Pacers," 6 July 2020 Her livestream kept running for another 30 minutes after the arrest in near silence, with an officer at one point taking it from her vehicle. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Live streamers at Breonna Taylor protests believe Louisville police are targeting them," 6 July 2020 South Korea managed to drive its coronavirus cases down to near-zero. Erin Allday,, "How did we get here? California struggling to stay on top of pandemic," 5 July 2020 Greg Barker, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, said site selection project activity came to a near halt earlier this year as everyone sheltered. William Thornton |, al, "Alabama’s economy, rattled by coronavirus, looks for the way forward," 5 July 2020 Ohio posted a near record increase in cases with 1,301 on Thursday, the most since mass testing in prisons in April. cleveland, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine changes course, passes coronavirus response to local officials," 3 July 2020 Some have filed for bankruptcy or sought bailouts to survive the near-shutdown in their activity, and officials predict the industry will take years to recover. Washington Post, "Virus-hammered Air France announces 7,500 job cuts," 3 July 2020 The Rubin Observatory will also be particularly useful for tracking near-Earth asteroids that could one day threaten our planet. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "How Elon Musk's Starlink satellites may have stifled the best chance to find Planet 9," 2 July 2020 Dealing with collapsing prices and escalating farm evictions, farmers in many regions staged near-uprisings. James N. Gregory, The Conversation, "A summer of protest, unemployment and presidential politics – welcome to 1932," 1 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Banner Health, the state's largest health system, is nearing its usual ICU bed capacity, officials said Friday, and if current trends continue, is at risk of exceeding capacity. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "Wednesday coronavirus update: 1,556 new COVID-19 positives reported, continuing high daily numbers seen over last two weeks," 10 June 2020 Many of these states that have experienced an increase in cases have also had an increase of hospitalizations, with a handful of states also nearing bed capacity. Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus hospitalizations rise sharply in several states after Memorial Day amid push to reopen," 10 June 2020 Zurbuchen said telescope preparation and testing activities are nearing full staffing again—and set a new date for a launch. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "James Webb Space Telescope will “absolutely” not launch in March," 10 June 2020 The team, with a stable of top pitching prospects nearing their major league debuts, is almost certain to take a position player. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Al Avila won't tip hand on No. 1 overall draft pick," 9 June 2020 Traders and analysts say the worst may be yet to come as demand falls and storage nears capacity, creating the ideal conditions for negative prices in some parts of the world. Vanessa Dezem,, "Natural Gas May Be the Next Commodity to Trade Below Zero," 8 June 2020 Heavy rains and high winds lashed the Gulf Coast Sunday afternoon as Tropical Storm Cristobal neared land. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Tropical Storm Cristobal lashes southeast Louisiana; president declares federal disaster," 8 June 2020 For those nearing retirement, Mohr said, take a look at your risk tolerance and time horizon to determine if any allocation changes should be made. Anna Bahney, CNN, "Here's what you should be doing with your retirement accounts right now," 8 June 2020 Cases world-wide neared 6.7 million, and deaths stood at more than 393,000. Talal Ansari, WSJ, "U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Pass 108,000; India Reports Its Highest Daily Toll," 5 June 2020

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above


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


circa 1522, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for near

Adverb, Preposition, Adjective, and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for near

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for near

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Near.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for near


How to pronounce near (audio)

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)

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



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

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


\ ˈnir How to pronounce near (audio) \
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.
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


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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More from Merriam-Webster on near

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for near

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with near

Spanish Central: Translation of near

Nglish: Translation of near for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of near for Arabic Speakers

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