\ ˈnī How to pronounce nigh (audio) \

Definition of nigh

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : near in place, time, or relationship Morning was drawing nigh. often used with on, onto, or unto served … for nigh on forty years— M. S. Tisdale
2 : nearly, almost … once well nigh broke his neck, by a fall from one of its branches.— Washington Irving



Definition of nigh (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : close, near
2 chiefly dialectal : direct, short
3 : being on the left side the nigh horse

Definition of nigh (Entry 3 of 4)

: near


nighed; nighing; nighs

Definition of nigh (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to draw or come near to : approach

intransitive verb

: to draw near

Synonyms & Antonyms for nigh

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of nigh in a Sentence

Adverb The snow is melting. Spring is nigh. It would be nigh impossible to fix it. Preposition a field nigh the church Verb as the hour of his death was nighing as the old man was nighing his hour of death
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Ever since the Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade surfaced, Democrats have been grappling with the fact that the worst-case scenario may very well be nigh. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 6 May 2022 Making a film about a generational mood is a nigh-impossible challenge, but Trier achieves it by never losing focus of the singular character he’s created. David Sims, The Atlantic, 2 Feb. 2022 There are no nigh-unbeatable 1972 Miami Dolphins or 2007 New England Patriots in this year’s N.F.L. playoff field. Mike Tanier, New York Times, 12 Jan. 2022 As such, choosing which ones to watch is a nigh-impossible task. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 14 Dec. 2021 Cult favorites like Hellraiser and the original Suspiria sit happily alongside the nigh-unwatchable 2008 Day of the Dead remake. Eric Vilas-boas And Josef Adalian, Vulture, 27 Oct. 2021 These new MacBooks could signal a big shift away from an era of Apple design that favored slim, nigh-unrepairable form over function. Boone Ashworth, Wired, 17 Oct. 2021 The ongoing pandemic has ravaged the finances of nearly every team that wasn’t already backstopped by owners with nigh-on unlimited resources at their disposal. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 31 Aug. 2021 Its cheery disposition could be a perfect soundtrack element if the end of the pandemic is nigh. Tom Roland, Billboard, 18 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Katie Gostic, an infectious-disease modeler at the University of Chicago, agrees that Delta doom is probably nigh. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 27 Jan. 2022 The nigh-unkillable guy in the William Shatner mask. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 14 Oct. 2021 Are there any Big Ten teams that could be swept up in the SEC’s nigh-unstoppable land grab? Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2021 On its Instagram, hypnotic video loops of cheese and consome sizzling on a flat-top grill showcase a nigh-pornographic attention to detail and stimulate the appetite. Soleil Ho,, 22 Oct. 2020 In the 1990s, cops began encouraging the homeless to settle on this abandoned stretch of land, and others soon joined them to take advantage of the nigh-lawless space. Wes Enzinna, Harper's magazine, 19 Nov. 2019 Well, well, well, Aries, looks like your time is nigh and Taurus season is upon us imminently. Allure, 19 July 2018 While Vesuvius buried Pompeii in lava and ash 14 years later, the end wasn't exactly nigh for the entire planet. National Geographic, 13 Apr. 2018 While Vesuvius buried Pompeii in lava and ash 14 years later, the end wasn't exactly nigh for the entire planet. National Geographic, 13 Apr. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nigh.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nigh


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for nigh

Adverb, Adjective, Preposition, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English nēah; akin to Old High German nāh, adverb, nigh, preposition, nigh, after, Old Norse nā- nigh

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Time Traveler for nigh

Time Traveler

The first known use of nigh was before the 12th century

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Statistics for nigh

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nigh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nigh


\ ˈnī How to pronounce nigh (audio) \

Kids Definition of nigh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : near in time or place Autumn is nigh. I drew nigh and planted the kitten on the table …— Richard Peck, A Long Way from Chicago
2 : almost, nearly It was nigh impossible to hear them.



Kids Definition of nigh (Entry 2 of 2)

: close entry 3 sense 1, near I wandered in the woods nigh home.

More from Merriam-Webster on nigh

Nglish: Translation of nigh for Spanish Speakers


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