phrase

  • 1In or into a position immediately to one side of; beside.

    ‘we sat next to each other’
    • ‘At one point outside the pavilion I was sat next to five other players in our side who were all aged under 18.’
    • ‘Then there are the extending sun blinds that pull out from the side doors next to the windows.’
    • ‘They stayed like that for a while, then the mother moved over so they could sit next to each other.’
    • ‘The boy sat to the right side of her and the blond boy sat next to him looking very scared.’
    • ‘As she sat there, an elderly woman came and sat on the bench next to her, causing her to shift position and look up.’
    • ‘Position the meter next to the phone, and measure the signal with and without the card.’
    • ‘Anna sighed audibly beside me, and I wondered exactly why I sat next to her in this class.’
    • ‘She'd be sitting next to the speaker, listening to Kiri Te Kanawa, eating peaches and cream.’
    • ‘Misunderstood by his owners, he chose to wander to our side of the yard and sit next to me on the back step.’
    • ‘Position this next to a north facing window with a net curtain between the plant and the glass.’
    beside, next door to, alongside, at the side of, by the side of, abreast of, by, adjacent to, cheek by jowl with, side by side with
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  • 2Following in order or importance.

    ‘next to buying a new wardrobe, nothing lifts the spirits like a new hairdo!’
    • ‘Purchasing a vehicle is the second biggest purchase a woman is likely to make next to buying a home.’
    • ‘Next to getting healthy, going green is the number one thing on everyone's mind.’
    beside, besides, following, nearest to, below, immediately inferior to
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  • 3Almost.

    ‘I knew next to nothing about farming’
    • ‘The fight against flood devastation in Mozambique is next to impossible without more help.’
    • ‘If it keeps depreciating at current levels by the time we reach 2050 it will be worth next to nothing.’
    • ‘They promise a percentage of a big transfer, but the player receives next to nothing.’
    • ‘It would also be next to impossible to leave the train quickly in an emergency.’
    • ‘This was typical, for them, as they had done next to nothing during the past few days.’
    • ‘We could have ordered scores of Playstation and Dreamcast titles for next to nothing.’
    • ‘Whatever may be the reason, to abandon the serial seems to be next to impossible.’
    • ‘I know it's next to impossible, but if there was, someone would get the sack at Sky.’
    • ‘The motorway and bridge were closed as billowing smoke left visibility on the road at next to nothing.’
    • ‘Proving exact amounts of damage caused by an given virus is also next to impossible.’
    almost, nearly, just about, about, more or less, practically, virtually, all but, as good as, close to, near, nigh on, to all intents and purposes, approaching, bordering on, verging on, nearing
    very small sum, pittance, trifle, flea-bite, trifling sum, drop in the ocean, insignificant sum, derisory sum, paltry sum
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  • 4In comparison with.

    ‘next to her I felt like a fraud’
    • ‘Compared with Spain it is garbage, next to Italy it is humble and alongside Germany it stands as an equal.’
    • ‘The fanatics, dare I say it, were quite pacific next to those who guarded money and property.’