nigh

adverb
\ 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 untoserved … 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)

nigh

verb
nighed; nighing; nighs

Definition of nigh (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to draw or come near to : approach

intransitive verb

: to draw near

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Even before Amoruso’s announcement, the end of the girlboss was nigh. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "What Comes After the Girlboss?," 25 June 2020 Our increasingly armed society makes such a reciprocal relationship nigh impossible; the toxic vigilantism of gun culture not only infects relations between citizens and police, but relations among citizens themselves. Firmin Debrabander, The New Republic, "America’s Cop Problem Is Also a Gun Problem," 24 June 2020 China’s recent moves in the South China Sea have fuelled concern that the time may be nigh. The Economist, "Identify yourself China’s next move in the South China Sea," 18 June 2020 Their unlikely friendship, forged in the fires of a nigh-impossible task, is the heart and soul of the series. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "The Ars verdict is in: Space Force is the best new series of 2020 (so far)," 29 May 2020 Your choices are nigh-endless, and there’s never been a better time to start. Matthew Gault, Time, "Video Games Are a Great Way to Pass the Time and Keep You Connected. Here's How to Get Started," 5 May 2020 When that puff of blue smoke eventually becomes a steady stream — like a contrail from an F16 — that’ll be your cue that the end is nigh for the Ion, Jesse. San Diego Union-Tribune, "This Saturn with an “oil incident” might be up in smoke," 13 Oct. 2019 Delaware Dover: The deadline is nigh for anyone hankering to be the state’s chief justice. USA TODAY, "Disney surprise, foreign feral hogs, porous pavement: News from around our 50 states," 13 Sep. 2019 When that puff of blue smoke eventually becomes a steady stream — like a contrail from an F16 —that’ll be your cue that the end is nigh for the Ion, Jesse. courant.com, "Car Talk: Don’t spin out this summer," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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, "Gimme Shelter," 19 Nov. 2019 Well, well, well, Aries, looks like your time is nigh and Taurus season is upon us imminently. Allure, "Bite Beauty's Astrology Lipstick for Leo Is an Attention-Grabbing Glittery Gold," 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, "No, the World Will Not End on April 23," 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, "No, the World Will Not End on April 23," 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, "No, the World Will Not End on April 23," 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, "No, the World Will Not End on April 23," 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, "No, the World Will Not End on April 23," 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, "No, the World Will Not End on April 23," 13 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of nigh

Adverb

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

Adjective

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

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nigh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nigh. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for nigh

nigh

adverb
How to pronounce nigh (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nigh

old-fashioned + literary
: close in time or place
: almost or nearly

nigh

adverb
\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on nigh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nigh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nigh

Spanish Central: Translation of nigh

Nglish: Translation of nigh for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nigh

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