near

1 of 4

adverb

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

near

2 of 4

preposition

: close to
beaches near the city
seemed to be near death

near

3 of 4

adjective

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
5
6
a
: closely resembling the standard or typical
a near desert
b
: approximating the genuine
near silk
nearness noun

near

4 of 4

verb

neared; nearing; nears

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
Voters do not rate the trial as anywhere near as important as things like the economy and inflation, things where Donald Trump has advantages. CBS News, 9 June 2024 On Sunday, Colfax Avenue—America’s longest continuous commercial street—becomes home to The Coors Light Denver Pride Parade, stretching near and far to celebrate Pride. Kara Peeler, Sunset Magazine, 31 May 2024
Preposition
Prosecutors announced murder charges Monday against a 33-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed two brothers earlier this month near Exposition Park. Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times, 11 June 2024 The checkpoint was held on Magnolia Avenue near Mission Gorge Road from 8:30 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, Sgt. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 June 2024
Adjective
Pressley's nearest opponent, Tennessee pastor, Dan Spencer, received 44 percent of the votes after four other candidates were eliminated in earlier rounds. CBS News, 12 June 2024 Find your nearest Denny's location on their website. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 11 June 2024
Verb
And nearing the end of a harrowing yet distinguished run as general manager-vice president, there was an aloof Phil Jackson on the sideline. Mike Kupper, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2024 Record-high home prices and mortgage rates nearing 7% have put a damper on the 2024 home-buying season so far, with many buyers opting to remain renters. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for near 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'near.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Preposition

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1522, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near near

Cite this Entry

“Near.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/near. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

near

1 of 4 adverb
1
: at, within, or to a short distance or time
night was drawing near
2
: in a condition or state resembling or close to : almost
near dead
3
: nearly sense 1
near related

near

2 of 4 preposition
(ˈ)ni(ə)r
: close to
standing near the door

near

3 of 4 adjective
ˈni(ə)r
1
: closely related or associated
her nearest and dearest friend
2
a
: not far away
the near future
b
: barely avoided
a near disaster
c
: almost not happening
a near victory
3
: being the closer of two
the near side of a hill
4
: direct entry 2 sense 1, short
the nearest route
5
: closely resembling a model or a genuine example
near silk
nearness noun

near

4 of 4 verb
ˈni(ə)r
: to come near : approach
the ship was nearing the dock
Etymology

Adverb

Old English nēar "nearer," comparative form of nēah "near, close" — related to neighbor, nigh see Word History at neighbor

More from Merriam-Webster on near

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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