\ 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)

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Yet the near-constant churn that embodies the modern NFL finally has shaken two teams that have long used the other as a measuring stick. Will Graves, Hartford Courant, 17 Sep. 2022 This messaging should be implicit, but, as with so much of modern-day parenting, even the simplest concept—providing adequate nourishment for a newborn—is dominated by a near-constant feeling of doing it wrong and not doing enough. Fiorella Valdesolo, Vogue, 8 Sep. 2022 Jacobs faced near-constant discrimination from his White colleagues and was never paid as well as other engineers doing the same work. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Sep. 2022 The sound design has been dialed down, such that sirens and street noise (a New York near-constant) barely register. Peter Debruge, Variety, 7 Sep. 2022 My frantic and near-constant playlisting is not in vain, though. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 2 Sep. 2022 The near-constant conversation left his mind weary and his throat parched. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Aug. 2022 Phoenix firefighters rushed to the area of 19th and Dunlap avenues on Saturday evening in response to the near-drowning of a 2-year-old girl, authorities said. Jeremy Yurow, The Arizona Republic, 27 Aug. 2022 Since the financial crisis, central banks worldwide slashed rates to near-zero to shore up markets and economies. Julia-ambra Verlaine, WSJ, 29 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Low storm chances will be possible mid-afternoon today near and east of the DFW area. Dallas News, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 4 June 2020 Van Nuys had its hottest May ever recorded, and several other SoCal cities experienced near-record highs. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The agency expects Behrmann to add additional products to the recall in the near future, urging customers to keep checking the list of product labels that are included in the meat recall. Chris Smith, BGR, 28 Sep. 2022 The damage to the Nord Stream pipelines may spell an ignominious end for the 25-year project, at least for the near future. Rob Picheta, CNN, 28 Sep. 2022 Some of the initiatives in the strategy, like expanding free school lunches, would require congressional cooperation, but that seems unlikely to happen in the near future. Brittany Gaddy, ABC News, 28 Sep. 2022 Soon, however, the 2 will be joined by a trio of new electric cars, and an image released by Polestar gives a taste of what is coming in the near future. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 28 Sep. 2022 The global job scene is unlikely to improve significantly in the near future. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 27 Sep. 2022 Now, with inflation on everyone’s mind and many economists forecasting some degree of recession in the near future, locking into the best job to ride out the economic uncertainty may seem more appealing. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2022 Even if there aren’t any massive upheavals to mountain bike design in the near future there are still more than enough areas with room for refinement. Mike Kazimer, Outside Online, 23 Sep. 2022 The Senate will vote early next week to advance a shell bill for the CR, with text to be included at some amorphous point in the near future. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 23 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If all goes well, the big-budget summer pic should near or cross $200 million globally in its debut. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 May 2022 Most episodes will run close to 75 minutes long, and episode 7 will near the 98-minute mark. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 23 May 2022 Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at fuel savings company GasBuddy, predicted average gas prices may soon near $4.50 in a statement. Forbes Staff Reports, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2022 Temperatures, however, plummeted from the mid-80s to near freezing in less than a day after a strong cold front passed through San Antonio and South Central Texas on Wednesday. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Feb. 2022 Rain should take over most of the area overnight as temperatures spike to near or past 40 before dropping a bit into sunrise. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 Wind chills will drop into the teens in the northern part of the state to near freezing in Miami. Jay Croft, CNN, 29 Jan. 2022 Fresno, California, could also near its all-time temperature record of 115 degrees on Sunday. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 11 July 2021 Several cities in Colorado, including Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, are expected to near or reach triple-digit heat Tuesday. Editors, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near near

neap tide



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Statistics for near

Last Updated

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Near.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for near


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on near

Nglish: Translation of near for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of near for Arabic Speakers


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