\ 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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from near


nearness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for near

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Voliva, a junior center from East High, had a near-perfect shooting night. Anchorage Daily News, "UAA women’s basketball team returns to win column," 26 Jan. 2020 Atlanta took a commanding two-map lead over the Empire through near-perfect execution in controlling positioning and passing information to each other. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Three takeaways: Atlanta FaZe shows its class with sweep of Dallas Empire," 25 Jan. 2020 But in a broader sense, these two wildly popular princes seem to be a near-perfect embodiment of a classic leadership divide. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Two Princes: Would You Rather Work for William or Harry?," 24 Jan. 2020 Nearly one month ago, Boeing completed the first orbital test flight of its Starliner spacecraft with a near-perfect landing at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Starliner’s thruster performance receiving close scrutiny from NASA," 21 Jan. 2020 More of these fansites disappear all the time, and even the Wayback Machine isn’t able to keep even a near-perfect record. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "The Man Who Collected Dreams About Celine Dion," 10 Jan. 2020 Every team goes through slumps, but the issue here is the Celtics are getting buried early — like 22-3 — and then are forced to play near-perfect basketball to prevail. Gary Washburn,, "In loss to Spurs, lethargic Celtics have only themselves to blame," 9 Jan. 2020 The whole experience, floating from one provocative thing to another, amounts to a near-perfect blend of profundity and ephemera—like one’s own thoughts, mercifully elevated. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "The Paris Review, a Poem a Day, and an Iran Explainer: Three Podcasts to Listen to in January," 7 Jan. 2020 The Gobblers’ savage comeback was not enough to overcome their own killing mistakes in the first half, when Kentucky’s offense played 30 minutes of near-perfect football. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Before the Belk Bowl, Virginia Tech played a key role in Kentucky football history," 23 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Johnson stole nearly $3,000 in cellphones and cash during the Nov. 13 armed robbery at a Boost Mobile on Buckeye Road near East 116th Street, according to police reports and court records. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Man used semiautomatic rifle to rob Cleveland cellphone store, records say," 3 Feb. 2020 Officers responded to the scene near 28th Street and Chipman Road at around 9:45 p.m. Friday after receiving reports of shots fired, Phoenix police spokesman Det. Luis Samudio said. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Man, woman killed in south Phoenix shooting; gunman in critical condition," 1 Feb. 2020 To locate a FamilySearch physical location near you, visit E.r. Shipp, USA TODAY, "FamilySearch's new archives expose more African American roots," 1 Feb. 2020 An officer initially stopped Paschal, 43, near Southeast Division Street and 119th Avenue at 11:15 p.m. Thursday. oregonlive, "Drunken driver flees SE Portland traffic stop, hits another drunken driver, police say," 31 Jan. 2020 This branch in particular is in an unbeatable location, near Cat Street, Harajuku, and Yoyogi Park. Anna Chittenden, Condé Nast Traveler, "Where to Stay in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics," 30 Jan. 2020 The incident happened just after 8 p.m. on Tuesday on the Suitland Parkway near Irving Street, according to D.C. police. Washington Post, "Woman killed after she was struck by a vehicle in Southeast Washington," 29 Jan. 2020 The next day, a woman was shot near North 49th Street and West Capitol Drive while two cars were involved in a rolling shootout. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Charges reveal details of 2017 Milwaukee crime spree: 267 shots fired, 3 people wounded, 2 bystanders killed," 29 Jan. 2020 Jalon Spencer, 21, was found about 9:45 p.m., lying on the ground next to a red truck at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of South Akard Street, near Corinth Street, police said. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "21-year-old man fatally shot outside apartment complex in the Cedars," 29 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Wills could plug into the right side immediately but maybe supplant LT Nate Solder in the near future, too. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL mock draft 2020: Where will Jordan Love, other QBs land in post-Super Bowl projection?," 4 Feb. 2020 Some of the questions are unanswerable until the actual protocol legislation becomes public in the near future. al, "United Methodist bishop sets meetings to talk about possible split," 4 Feb. 2020 This column has been hard on Bloomberg News for forecasting a wholesale transition to electric cars in the near future based on vaporous promises by politicians eventually to ban gasoline-powered cars. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Tesla’s Stock Goes to Heaven," 4 Feb. 2020 More evacuees will likely land on US soil in the near future. Steve Mollman, Quartz, "The list of odd Super Bowl watching venues has a new entrant in 2020," 2 Feb. 2020 Varsity Game vs Aiken WILL NO LONGER CONTINUE at this time... Please be on the lookout for any updates within the near future... Shelby Dermer,, "Fight ends boys basketball game between Woodward and Aiken in third quarter," 1 Feb. 2020 More: Could Kentucky see sports betting in the near future? Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Bill that would legalize sports betting in Kentucky is in doubt ... if not 'in trouble'," 31 Jan. 2020 The show was announced Wednesday at the Realscreen Summit in New Orleans as part of a slate of unscripted series coming Disney+ in the near future. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "Seth Rogen Is Working on a Movie About a Killer Meme," 30 Jan. 2020 Internal combustion engines aren't going away in the near future, and electrification today can mean technology that helps make those combustion engines more efficient. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "BorgWarner says Delphi purchase will help it move faster to electric cars," 29 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With China’s Lunar New Year holiday nearing its end, companies ordered workers to stay home and avoid travel. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Containing the Coronavirus: Countries Limit Travel to China," 28 Jan. 2020 With this recruiting cycle nearing a close, some of the more notable uncommitted prospect from the Houston area include North Shore running back Zach Evans, Fort Bend Marshall quarterback Malik Hornsby and Fort Bend Austin guard Kendal Septs. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Sterling’s Frank Brown commits to Arizona," 14 Jan. 2020 With the fourth quarter nearing, Javon Leake returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's blowout win more about just how bad Maryland is right now," 2 Nov. 2019 But, with the the season nearing its end, Dewayne Bevil and Kathleen Christiansen focus on family-friendly Halloween festivities at area attractions. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts,, "PODCAST: Last chance for family-friendly Halloween festivities at Disney, SeaWorld, Gatorland, Legoland (Ep. 22)," 23 Oct. 2019 Forty years later, with environmental catastrophe nearing and a new drinking water scandal seemingly popping up every few months, the concept has started to gain serious traction. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Give Rivers Legal Rights," 2 Oct. 2019 With the preseason nearing a merciful close, the Wild have some tough decisions to make. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Who’s going to make the team? Here’s a breakdown of the Wild roster," 26 Sep. 2019 With the year’s session nearing a hectic end, bills have been flying out of each house seemingly one a minute. Los Angeles Times, "Lawmakers and lobbyists scramble as California’s legislative session draws to a close," 9 Sep. 2019 That was more than a third of the bank’s total assets, and nearing the size of its conventional loans on book at the time. Chao Deng, WSJ, "Fancy Meals and Loans for Friends: China’s Banks Face Costly Cleanup," 21 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about near

Time Traveler for near

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for near

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Near.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on near

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!