Definition of nigh in English:


preposition, adjective, & adverb

  • 1literary, archaic Near.

    as adjective ‘the end is nigh’
    as adverb ‘they drew nigh unto the city’
    • ‘Right now, elections are drawing nigh, the date is to be announced on Sunday.’
    • ‘As the end of the Antarctic summer drew nigh, the pair found themselves with about 400 miles of ice yet to cover.’
    • ‘As with any games referee decisions were called into question in the quarter finals, building the tension as the end drew nigh.’
    • ‘Thus, my look and in depth coverage of Roman cuisine draws nigh to a close.’
    • ‘We were friends, good friends, but the time was drawing nigh when I had to lay my cards on the table.’
    • ‘Days and weeks roll by and Winter nights draw nigh and everything that lives must die’
    • ‘I leave this record as penance for my own conscious, as my death draws nigh.’
    • ‘The caliber of conversation in the pod has also taken a nosedive as the blessed date draws nigh.’
    • ‘I suppose time will tell what happens as the date draws nigh.’
    • ‘The provincial finals, which are drawing nigh, will also throw more light on the road ahead.’
    • ‘But with Election Day drawing nigh once more, guess who is promising what once again?’
    • ‘It is to my shame, then, to tell you that one fair morning, a ship drew nigh in the banner of the horizon.’
    • ‘As the time for outrageously big prizes draws nigh, I want to give a very special thanks to the people who made it all possible.’
    • ‘Time for all passed pleasantly until the time of departure drew nigh.’
    • ‘Forbidden were men to draw nigh the plant, yet weaker were their still young and innocent minds to words of deception.’
    near, adjacent, in close proximity, close at hand, near at hand
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  • 2Almost.

    as adverb ‘a car weighing nigh on two tons’
    • ‘Look at Northern Ireland, he suggested, where IRA weapons caches had eluded detection for nigh on 30 years.’
    • ‘In the spring and early summer inflation rose sharply, to nigh on 3.5%, while output growth was robust.’
    • ‘We spent a half an hour in the dealership, which is nigh unto an eternity when you have a small child.’
    • ‘Instead, with the match already nigh on a 7,000 sell-out, everywhere they look the stars will be on the other side of the field.’
    • ‘I had known him for nigh on forty years, known him too for the great character that he was, the true gentleman, the sportsman supreme.’
    • ‘This reviewer sadly is not, so conveying more than two-and-a-half hours of pure joy into 250 words is nigh on impossible.’
    • ‘Because for nigh on a decade he has been that rare thing: a British opera star in constant demand abroad, particularly in the States.’
    • ‘How do people fit everything in I wonder… and work nigh on full time?’
    • ‘Trust me, this will be something that will be nigh unto impossible to break.’
    • ‘After the initial shock and awe passes, commanding his respect will be nigh unto impossible.’
    • ‘The only thing close to getting the media coverage that race relations has been getting for nigh on two months was what to do about superannuation.’
    • ‘The single-player missions are frantic and the multiplayer clashes online both frenetic and nigh on impossible to survive.’
    • ‘For nigh on 47 years, Kitty has been part of the post office structure.’
    • ‘I think it is nigh on impossible to remove religious teaching from the classroom (at least for the foreseeable future).’
    • ‘They range from the poor state of the roads to sheer recklessness on the part of some drivers who have nigh on abandoned all road safety rules.’
    • ‘Heaven knows why this has been a search item for nigh on 18 months now.’
    • ‘For nigh on three decades Jim Ryan has been an integral part of the teaching staff at our local Christian Brothers secondary school.’
    • ‘Yes, the logistics of accommodating and transporting the world's best athletes for nigh on a month will mean disruption on a massive scale.’
    • ‘With all deference to the bigger issues, it is nigh on impossible to quantify the potential economic effects of these events.’
    • ‘The third, John, hasn't seen the other two for nigh on 20 years, having started a family and taken on the responsibilities that go with it.’
    well-nigh, almost, nearly, just about, more or less, practically, virtually, all but, as good as, next to, close to, near, to all intents and purposes, approaching, bordering on, verging on, nearing, about
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Old English nēh, nēah, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch na, German nah. Compare with near.