Definition of nearly in English:



  • 1Very close to; almost.

    ‘David was nearly asleep’
    ‘a rise of nearly 25 per cent’
    • ‘The buildings of New York take quite a beating and nearly disappear in a fusion fireball.’
    • ‘The fact that nearly a quarter of respondents saw through the bias is itself impressive.’
    • ‘Hearst did not see the joke, and the film was nearly destroyed before it could be released.’
    • ‘The odds are even worse for the Dogans, who had nearly exhausted all avenues for appeal.’
    • ‘The attempt nearly succeeded as he was close to being able to get his head through the hole.’
    • ‘One fireman spent nearly ten minutes using his hands to dig the frightened youth out of the mud.’
    • ‘He transported the nearly finished work to another small studio, a few blocks away.’
    • ‘He'd tried to eat during his break but was so breathless that he nearly collapsed.’
    • ‘By the time we'd ascertained that my partner was very happy with his lot, he was nearly home.’
    • ‘The rise and fall of the bustle spans nearly the whole of the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘I seem to have added an extra one and a half miles onto my distance, and nearly doubled my trip time.’
    • ‘After nearly two hours we knew what the problem was - but hadn't found a way to solve it.’
    • ‘It was so nice when my mum and sister came to England and stayed with me for nearly 6 months.’
    • ‘When I went on Friday I was nearly screaming with pain when he tried to stretch my back.’
    • ‘Yet another animal has been added to the list of those abused on a nearly unimaginable scale.’
    • ‘He said that when he first saw Lucky's face in the vets it nearly broke his heart.’
    • ‘He once had a slender girlfriend with a mop of hair and a crooked, pale, nearly pretty face.’
    • ‘It was put into practice at the centre nearly two years ago and has proved its worth.’
    • ‘Last week he was finally kicked out of the band he founded and he has been disowned by nearly all of his family.’
    • ‘The effort has been put into developing tools to create nearly anything you can imagine.’
    • ‘He led me into an alcove and stood close to me, so close our faces were nearly touching.’
    • ‘Something I saw made me laugh out aloud and I was nearly rewarded with a smack in the mouth.’
    • ‘This is the basic physics, but Einstein said it nearly gave him a nervous breakdown.’
    just about, about, more or less, practically, virtually, all but, as good as, next to, close to, near, nigh on, not far from, not far off, to all intents and purposes, approaching, bordering on, verging on, nearing
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  • 2Closely.

    ‘in the absence of anyone more nearly related, I was designated next of kin’