\ 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 Orlando is home to a number of local apparel companies, none of which are anywhere near as sandwich-inspired as Deli Fresh Threads. Patrick Connolly,, "Deli Fresh Threads serves up food-inspired apparel," 18 Nov. 2019 Washes, douches, creams, and the like shouldn't go anywhere near your genitals and can in fact do more harm than good. Jessica Migala,, "A Vagina Museum Just Opened in London—Here Are the Biggest Vagina Myths the Founders Want to Bust Once and for All," 18 Nov. 2019 After a decade of near-constant expansion, third-quarter data on Thursday are expected to confirm a technical recession for the first time in almost seven years. Washington Post, "Why Germany May Need to Fight Recession With Spending," 13 Nov. 2019 Scherzer lived in near-constant danger throughout his five innings of work, allowing only a pair of runs but pitching with traffic on the basepaths throughout. Author: Dave Sheinin, Anchorage Daily News, "Nationals win first World Series title, storming back on Astros in Game 7," 31 Oct. 2019 For example, Connolly said the period from October 2024 through February 2025 along the rim of Shackleton Crater (at 89.8 degrees south) will have near-constant illumination. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA shares details of lunar surface missions—and they’re pretty cool," 29 Oct. 2019 In an era of near-constant cutbacks at local newspapers and other news sources, the collaboration is likely to be cheered by fellow journalists. Brian Stelter, CNN, "ProPublica and Texas Tribune joining forces to create new investigative unit," 15 Oct. 2019 Republicans have generally stood behind Trump, but in an administration beset by near-constant turnover and turmoil, some former White House officials began to venture criticism. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, "Trump allies and Democrats trade blistering attacks over impeachment," 29 Sep. 2019 Turnaround plans had gone nowhere, a result of near-constant worker walkouts, shoddy craftsmanship, disaffected managers and a convoluted corporate structure. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Michael Edwardes, Hard-Nosed Rescuer of British Car Giant, Dies at 88," 23 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Though Michigan had plenty of problems in the first half of the season, that near-comeback at Penn State on Oct. 19 really did awaken something in the Wolverines. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Week 13 observations: Ohio State gains valuable experience as battle for top seed heats up," 24 Nov. 2019 As with alcohol and tobacco, marijuana companies’ revenues rely on heavy consumption from regular users: Daily and near-daily cannabis consumers account for 75 percent of spending in the industry, a 2016 study in the Journal of Drug Issues found., "Welcome to the Walmart of Weed.," 24 Nov. 2019 Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office found the woman’s body in the 8300 block of Texas Highway 6 near Beechnut Street sometime before 5:30 a.m., according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Woman found dead after hit-and-run collision in southwest Harris County," 22 Nov. 2019 Funding those services has been made near impossible by the United States, however. Annalisa Merelli, Quartzy, "A humanitarian worker in Yemen provides a lesson on perspective," 22 Nov. 2019 Last month, Steve Braithwaite was traveling down the highway near Adrian when a Michigan State Police trooper pulled him over. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "MSP trooper pulls over man in banana car, gives him $20," 22 Nov. 2019 Whenever one side threatened to gain control, the other fought back in a first half that seemed more like a game near the end of a season instead of the beginning. Pete Iacobelli,, "Kerry Blackshear Jr. lifts Gators to win over Miami at Charleston Classic," 22 Nov. 2019 Communities north and south of the Bering Strait rely on near-shore ice to act as a natural sea wall, protecting land from erosion brought on by winter storms. Dan Joling,, "Warm ocean water delays sea ice for Alaska towns, wildlife," 21 Nov. 2019 The film finds Rogers near the end of his life, considering his legacy in an entertainment world that largely dismayed him, which might be perfectly suitable material for a movie about the man. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Understands About Mister Rogers," 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Within near and distant galaxies, the mesh of dust and clouds that weaves between the stars has been observed at temperatures between between 10 and 20 degrees kelvin. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Weirdly Nihilistic Reason Why Outer Space Is So Cold," 22 Nov. 2019 The store nearest our home still had a small footprint, though bigger than before, but aisles were wider. NBC News, "Everyone's raving about ALDI so I switched for a week. Here's what I found out.," 15 Nov. 2019 The writers clearly strive to say something big and deep about being a Woman Today, but the show doesn't get anywhere near insight or parody, reveling in offensive stereotypes rather than transcending them. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Hulu's 'Dollface' is an offensive caricature of millennial women," 15 Nov. 2019 Jackson, who had a reputation as a taciturn, eccentric battlefield genius and a religious zealot, was often glorified by earlier generations as a figure of near legend, but Dr. Robertson sought to present an unvarnished portrait of him. New York Times, "James I. Robertson Jr., Exacting Civil War Historian, Dies at 89," 14 Nov. 2019 Tannic acid, which blackens water to the point of near opaqueness, hampered the search effort. Carol Robinson |, al, "Gone without a trace? Misery, mystery linger in these Alabama missing child cases," 12 Nov. 2019 Sharing his love for classical music remains near and dear to him. Matthew J. Palm,, "Witches? Murder? Opium? Orlando Philharmonic explores ‘insane’ symphony," 12 Nov. 2019 Each round features 13 shooters vying to place a pellet in, or nearest to, the bulls-eye. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Auto dealers, manufacturers serve those who served," 8 Nov. 2019 Oftentimes, spouses are positioned near or beside one another; the chairs nearest to the host have long been considered places of honor. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's Why Proper Dining Etiquette Is Still Important, and What to Know," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At the store, Rylan had been nearing the end of his shift and was preparing to take the garbage out when a co-worker spotted police cars approaching. Alice Yin,, "‘Will I ever be able to play guitar again?’ 15-year-old boy asks as parents demand details about shooting at music store that wounded teen, killed bank robbery suspect," 25 Nov. 2019 Her testimony comes as Democrats are nearing the end of a list of witnesses scheduled to testify publicly in the impeachment investigation. NBC News, "Fiona Hill to say partisan politics drove a 'fictional' narrative on Ukraine," 21 Nov. 2019 One of the most important parts of this job, at this time and place, is the development of the Rangers’ next franchise goalie, with Henrik Lundqvist, 37, nearing the end of his career. Dom Amore,, "Dom Amore: Wolf Pack coach Kris Knoblauch tackling dual mission — winning in Hartford, raising future Rangers," 11 Nov. 2019 In December 2004, Bloom — who was nearing the end of an internship with the Padres — met at the winter meetings for an interview with the assistant to baseball development for the Devil Rays., "A closer look at Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom - The Boston Globe," 3 Nov. 2019 The train cars now used on the route are 30 to 40 years old and nearing the end of their useful life. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Amtrak's Hiawatha line to get new trains for Milwaukee-to-Chicago route," 31 Oct. 2019 Despite nearing the end of his playing career, Milner has maintained a consistently-high level of performance for Klopp's side., "James Milner Eager to Extend Liverpool Stay as Midfielder Enters Final Months of Contract," 29 Oct. 2019 Foster, a retired Department of Transportation worker, is battling colon cancer and nearing the end of his treatment. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Man wins $200,000 lottery prize on the way to his last chemo treatment," 27 Oct. 2019 But the Jeopardy! host is doing his job while nearing the end of his life. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Marvin Lewis' legacy in Cincinnati improves with every Bengals loss," 23 Oct. 2019

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

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Near.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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