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 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

nigh

adjective

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

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

around, by, close, hard, in, near, nearby

Synonyms: Adjective

close, close-up, immediate, near, nearby, neighboring, next-door, proximate

Synonyms: Preposition

about, around, by, near, next to

Synonyms: Verb

approach, belly up, close, close in, come up, draw on, near

Antonyms: Adjective

away, deep, distant, far, faraway, far-off, remote

Antonyms: Verb

back (up or away), recede, retire, retreat, withdraw

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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

Performing from memory, the scion of one of the world’s great guitar families held pavilion and lawn in the palms of his nigh-on-magical hands. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Heat prompts Cleveland Orchestra to rise on humid evenings at Blossom," 22 July 2019 Tipo Central Provisions may be nigh impossible to get into, but co-owners Paige and Chris Gould have extended their magic touch to this sister spot serving luscious contemporary Italian. Alexandra Hall, BostonGlobe.com, "Portland restaurants you can actually get into," 15 July 2019 Chasing 286 for victory, England's task became nigh on impossible after losing its opening three wickets for just 26 runs. James Masters, CNN, "Australia leaves England on the brink at Cricket World Cup," 25 June 2019 Constrained in other areas, Subaru’s marketers have enhanced the Forester’s value proposition to nigh-on irresistible. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Subaru Forester: Do You Want Your Car to Spy on You?," 9 Nov. 2018 Her parents were survivalists and the family felt the end of the world was nigh. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Clarkson: Reading for summer, if summer ever gets here," 20 June 2019 The crypto world and the Afrikaner right share the rhetoric that the end is nigh: The financial system is fallible, the social contract unstable. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Inside an All-White Town’s Divisive Experiment With Cryptocurrency," 6 June 2019 Retro-Grade Shades The return of oversized aviators and square frames is nigh. Madeline Swanson, Vogue, "Throw Some Shade With Summer’s Best Sunglasses Trends," 21 May 2019 The time is nigh: Part 2 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is officially only 18 days away. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 2 Releases First Trailer Ahead of April Premiere," 18 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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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Learn More about nigh

Dictionary Entries near nigh

niggling

niggly

niggun

nigh

nigh-hand

nighly

nighness

Statistics for nigh

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nigh

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

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More Definitions for nigh

nigh

adverb

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.

nigh

adjective

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nigh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nigh

Spanish Central: Translation of nigh

Nglish: Translation of nigh for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nigh

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