\ 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 Expect Los Angeles to score near 120 points, allowing the OVER 219.5 (-128) to hit in the Staples Center. Marcus Mosher, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers odds, picks and best bets," 10 Jan. 2020 Since the moon's orbit is an oval, Earth's celestial neighbor is sometimes far, with the farthest point called apogee, and sometimes near, called perigee. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wolf moon on Friday night is first of 13 full moons this year which include two supermoons and a rare Halloween blue moon," 9 Jan. 2020 With an election around the corner, the Senate considering removing the president from office, and U.S.-Iran tensions at a near, all-time high, politics can feel particularly scary and heavy. NBC News, "How to take action when you feel disillusioned with today's political climate.," 8 Jan. 2020 Temperatures in Girdwood and Portage are expected to linger near 0 degrees for the early part of the week, but Kutz said the areas could reach 20 degrees by Thursday. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Cold weather expected to stay through the week for much of Southcentral Alaska," 6 Jan. 2020 In point of fact, me. Dying is my turn to survey life from its far—now near—shore. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Art of Dying," 16 Dec. 2019 Here's to welcoming all Whos, far and near, into our homes this season! Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "You Can Buy This Grinch-Themed Ceramic Christmas Village—and It's Cuter Than Whoville," 10 Dec. 2019 From Disney characters to John Deere tractors, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and veterans far and near, the parade offered memories for children, young and old, to create smiles and laughter. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty celebrates Christmas with annual parade, festivities," 5 Dec. 2019 Whether near or far, Miley Cyrus and boyfriend Cody Simpson are there for each other. Brianne Tracy,, "Miley Cyrus and Cody Simpson 'Have a Very Easy Relationship' That 'Works' Says Source," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The green and purple sugar had blended into a mildewy near-black tone. al, "Never buy the last king cake in the store," 20 Jan. 2020 Marathoners will likely see warmer weather than the 2019 Houston Marathon, where race participants were greeted with near-freezing temperatures. Gwendolyn Wu, Houston Chronicle, "Thousands rush downtown for Chevron Houston Marathon," 19 Jan. 2020 Of course, there’s near-universal agreement that child exploitation and nonconsensual images don’t belong on social networks. Barbara Ortutay,, "Does the naked body belong on Facebook? It’s complicated," 17 Jan. 2020 At the root of that failure is a lack of building, especially near the thriving cities in which jobs are plentiful. The Economist, "The horrible housing blunder The West’s biggest economic policy mistake," 16 Jan. 2020 The candidates were near unanimous in arguing for a diminished U.S. military presence in the region. Emily Glazer, WSJ, "The Moments That Mattered in the January Democratic Debate," 15 Jan. 2020 Dallas-Fort Worth is headed for another year of near record apartment openings — more than any other metro area in the country. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "More new apartments opening in D-FW than any other U.S. metro," 15 Jan. 2020 While the prices of some have reached near-ridiculous levels, a few remain comparatively affordable. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The Best New Crossbows of the 2020 Archery Trade Show," 13 Jan. 2020 Monday Partly sunny, with a high near 54 and alow around 40. Segann March,, "More than 4,500 people without power after severe weather, gusty winds," 11 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But expectations remain low that these talks will lead to any kind of a lasting peace on the ground in the near future. New York Times, "International Powers Call for Cease-Fire in Libya’s Long Civil War," 19 Jan. 2020 Fans of the group that formed in Hanover in 1965 should expect a new studio album in the near future. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Scorpions Bringing 'Sin City Nights' Residency to Las Vegas Strip," 17 Jan. 2020 That 2017 Astros team is so tainted that no member of the championship squad could possibly lead another franchise, at least in the near future. Sean Gregory, Time, "This Week's Baseball Insanity Is the Perfect Scandal for Our Age," 17 Jan. 2020 About $50,000 was raised by individual donations, especially by those placed on the park's board with the full fundraising campaign set to begin in the near future. Alex Harrison,, "Group raises funds for Greendale memorial park honoring Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill," 16 Jan. 2020 Previously: Could Kentucky see sports betting in the near future? Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky sports betting bill passes out of House committee by unanimous vote," 15 Jan. 2020 As the threat of climate change advances, Indianapolis residents may be grappling with flooding, heat waves and other extreme weather events in the near future. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis poised to study the local effects of climate change," 14 Jan. 2020 This year begins with the air-strike killing of Iran’s military leader, devastating bushfires, and impeachment, and one of the most contentious elections of our times looms in the near future. Kelly Kessler, Wired, "Streaming Giants Need Shows Like Schoolhouse Rock," 13 Jan. 2020 Here are my answers: @Koodbeat: What are Smiley's minutes going to look like in the near future? Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors mailbag: Alen Smailagic’s future? Chances of a Marquese Chriss return?," 12 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oladipo missed the remaining 46 games of the 2018-19 season and, with the 2019 calendar year nearing an end, the former IU star will likely return some time in 2020. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Here are the top 10 Indiana sports stories of 2019," 31 Dec. 2019 Hospice provides pain management, along with emotional support and care to terminally ill patients nearing the end of their lives, as well as their families. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "More people are choosing to die at home, instead of in a hospital," 11 Dec. 2019 There was more: Kerbs was nearing the end of his sentence. oregonlive, "Killer in dismemberment case confessed to jailhouse buddy. What he didn’t know: It was an ex-cop.," 7 Dec. 2019 With home prices in the Bay Area nearing seven figures, some who can't afford to live on land are settling down on the water, dropping anchor near cities like Sausalito, and living on Richardson Bay, rent-free. Fox News, "Californians who can't afford to live on land increasingly turning to water," 28 Nov. 2019 This is the Reds' final game before a timely breather for Klopp's side, with the international break nearing., "Liverpool 2-1 Genk: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Reds Edge Narrow Victory," 5 Nov. 2019 With winter nearing, Gwet is brewing up a hearty cabin retreat, which promises to prove that cold-weather care runs more than skin deep. Fortune, "These ‘Beauty Brunches’ in Prove That Wellness Is More Than Skin Deep," 21 Sep. 2019 Wizards at Knicks: Key injuries Wizards: PF Rui Hachimura (groin) is nearing a return, but remains out. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Washington Wizards at New York Knicks odds, picks and best bets," 23 Dec. 2019 At the time, Steele's five-year contract was nearing expiration. Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former TV weather anchor Scott Steele charges WTMJ with anti-Semitism in federal lawsuit," 23 Dec. 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

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Near.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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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

Comments on near

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

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