near·ly | \ˈnir-lē \

Definition of nearly 

1 : in a close manner or relationship nearly related

2a : almost but not quite nearly identical nearly a year later

b : to the least extent not nearly as good as we expected

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Examples of nearly in a Sentence

I see her nearly every day. We lived there for nearly two years. Nearly all of us got sick that weekend.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Kathy Griffin got pretty quiet last year in the weeks and months following that time her life was upended and her career nearly derailed by a now-infamous photo of the comedian holding a Donald Trump mask covered in fake blood. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Controversial comic Kathy Griffin’s back, with a warning for fans coming to her show," 13 July 2018 Western Massachusetts towns are expected to receive nearly an inch of rain, with 0.94 inches in North Adams, 0.95 inches in Pittsfield, and 0.96 inches in Great Barrington, the weather service tweeted. Elise Takahama,, "Scattered showers will hit Boston this weekend, along with increasing clouds and humidity," 14 July 2018 Numerous hospitals got a nearly identical email, including Liberty Hospital. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Hospitals fear Parson budget cut could endanger stroke, heart attack, trauma patients," 13 July 2018 Click to Read Story Croatia: The World Cup’s Russian Nesting Dolls To mount its best World Cup run since 1998, Croatia had to make a squad of nearly-identical players fit together. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France, on the Brink of a World Cup Win, Has the Bleus," 13 July 2018 These sentiments are nearly identical to last June. Dana Blanton, Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Trump not tough enough on Russia, approval of Mueller down," 13 July 2018 The two distributors shipped nearly identical volumes of opioids to Missouri between 2012 and 2017: roughly 650 million doses each. Lev Facher, STAT, "System for reporting suspicious opioid orders repeatedly failed, report finds," 12 July 2018 The two-tiered white and gold confection featured a top layer that resembled a ruffle and was nearly identical to the top half of Vergara’s birthday outfit. Madison Roberts,, "Sofia Vergara Celebrated Her 46th Birthday with a Cake That Matched Her Dress Exactly," 11 July 2018 Missouri voted for Trump by a margin nearly identical to Indiana’s (19 points). USA TODAY, "'Pivot counties' will be key in fight for Senate control," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nearly.' 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 nearly

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nearly

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nearly

The first known use of nearly was in 1561

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More Definitions for nearly



English Language Learners Definition of nearly

: not completely : almost but not quite


near·ly | \ˈnir-lē \

Kids Definition of nearly

1 : in a close manner or relationship They're nearly related.

2 : almost but not quite We're nearly finished.

3 : to the least extent It's not nearly enough.

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Comments on nearly

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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