\ 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 Montblanc Haus is accessible to the public, near and far, and with summer travel right around the corner, its opening is fortuitous. Nancy Olson, Forbes, 16 May 2022 Since Texas implemented a near-total ban on abortions last fall, the lines have been flooded with calls. Washington Post, 15 May 2022 Still reeling from a near-total loss of riders during pandemic lockdowns, the system faces many of the same financial woes as New York’s subway. Mark Landler,, 14 May 2022 Still reeling from a near-total loss of riders during pandemic lockdowns, the system faces many of the same financial woes as New York’s subway. New York Times, 14 May 2022 Beyond scouring the internet, parents tirelessly search store shelves near and far daily, coordinate formula exchanges through Facebook pages and spend countless hours – and sometimes huge sums of money – to make sure their children have food. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 11 May 2022 But a trigger law would implement a near-total ban on abortions if Roe is reversed. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 11 May 2022 Work building bike lanes near and along North Main, 11th Street, Lawndale Street, Calhoun/Griggs/MLK, Cavalcade/Homestead, Blodgett/Cleburne and Parker Road are at various stages of the design or construction process. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 28 Apr. 2022 About two dozen volunteers from near and far came together Thursday morning to build the playset while Diego was at chemo treatment. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 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 staff of Helping Mamas, a baby supply bank located in Norcross, is fielding a near constant stream of anxious calls from families on the hunt for formula. Lautaro Grinspan, ajc, 20 May 2022 Robbins echoed the sentiment on Wednesday’s call, signaling that tech companies will remain tethered to China’s COVID whims for the near-future. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 19 May 2022 The near-continuous stream of cyberattacks arrive, for the most part, completely uncoupled from physical attacks, and the quality of the war-fighting code varies wildly. Neil J. Rubenking, PCMAG, 19 May 2022 But, crucially, there aren’t any expectations — at least not yet — that streaming will supplant the network morning shows or cable news primetime in the near or even medium term. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 May 2022 But most of the visible matter is still near where the collision initially took place. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 18 May 2022 In 2021, Baltimore City and Baltimore County had a near record number of homicides and shootings. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 Two county commission seats, the presidency of regional government Metro, several seats in the Legislature and other outcomes hinge on near-final Clackamas results. oregonlive, 18 May 2022 The Boeing 737-800 was cruising at high altitude and suddenly went into a near-vertical dive, slamming into a southern China mountain and killing all 123 passengers and nine crew members. Harold Maass, The Week, 18 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Temperatures will near or surpass 100 degrees in cities such as Portland and Seattle. Editors, USA TODAY, 26 June 2021 Temperatures dip to a range from the mid-20s to near freezing for lows. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 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

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Near.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 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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