Definition of near in English:

near

adverb

  • 1At or to a short distance away; nearby.

    ‘a bomb exploding somewhere near’
    [comparative] ‘she took a step nearer’
    • ‘Cars from near and far converged in the night to watch the mountains glow red.’
    • ‘Our conductor routinely announced the names of towns as we got near and also did a reminder of how many minutes we were to spend.’
    • ‘When I see Tom Langston again the nurse had better be near or else he might just bleed to death.’
    • ‘After he moved in he didn't know if he would be able to sleep with her so near and not hold her in his arms.’
    • ‘How could she live without falling into despair with love so near and yet unattainable?’
    • ‘Also, periodically focus on an object that is near and then focus on one that is farther away.’
    • ‘He scares away anyone who comes near and then feels sorry for himself when he realizes he is alone.’
    • ‘This mystery of the incarnation involves drawing near, reducing the distance.’
    close by, close, nearby, close at hand, near at hand, not far away, not far off, in the neighbourhood, in the vicinity, at hand, within reach, within close range, on the doorstep, within earshot, within sight, a stone's throw away, at close quarters, alongside
    View synonyms
  • 2A short time away in the future.

    ‘the time for his retirement was drawing near’
    • ‘The end of Stormont certainly brought communal peace no nearer.’
    • ‘Their planned rendezvous with NASA grew steadily nearer.’
    • ‘As his appointment loomed nearer I observed that the nausea returned to a lesser degree.’
    • ‘And as that day grew nearer, each occupant of the household grew anxious.’
    • ‘The more I think about it, the more I think that Eddie just panics when it gets close near the end.’
    • ‘We were still winning and my moment of glory was drawing ever nearer.’
    • ‘You think that the end of the world is near and somehow a welding helmet will save you.’
  • 3[as submodifier] Almost.

    ‘a near perfect fit’
    • ‘The past few weeks have seen a near total triumph of pessimism.’
    • ‘It was a strange and eerie feeling riding through the near deserted streets of this once great city that I had read and seen so many films about.’
    • ‘A cup, near filled with ale, was beside him, as was an ewer, and I could only hope he had drunk enough.’
    • ‘Mischievously, we hatched a plan to refill our near empty glasses in the toilets, thus saving ourselves both a wait at the bar and a few quid.’
    • ‘A near hyperbolic relationship between respiration rates and meristem radii was observed.’
    • ‘She'll probably end up near obsessed with the guy but eventually see sense and move onto pastures new.’
    • ‘The residents of the village are angry and the near total opposition to the PSNI visit shows this.’
    • ‘Just had a very pleasant half term, with a near perfect family outing to Hampton Court Palace.’
    • ‘Diabetics can easily adjust insulin to keep glucose levels within a near normal range.’
    • ‘This is only one example in a film that contains what seems a near endless amount of engagements with the blurring between man and machine.’
    • ‘The general strike resulted in the near total shutdown of the rail network and lengthy traffic jams.’
    • ‘Ever wondered where you could get a near instant reply to any question.’
    • ‘Which was how I found myself searching the near empty parking lot for an unlocked car.’
    • ‘Depending on which story you read, the deal is either done, near done or not even close to being done.’
    • ‘I didn't have to hear a near constant drone about our all-powerful cricketers.’
    • ‘By that stage last December, Jonathan, was in a near vegetative state and at one point was given only days to live.’
    almost, just about, nearly, practically, virtually, all but
    View synonyms
  • 4archaic, dialect Almost.

    ‘I near fell out of the chair’
    • ‘I near shrieked as he fell to the floor, a perfect, coin shaped hole, dotted between his eyebrows.’
    • ‘We damn near won against the most corrupt and well-oiled slime machine in history.’
    • ‘I damn near laughed at the pathetic expression on his face as he holds up his decapitated hand!’
    • ‘And in the thirties we had the Depression, when people damn near starved in both the US and the UK.’
    • ‘That smirk that he does damn near every class period had return, I smile cheesily back to him.’
    • ‘I near laughed as a dozen officers were suddenly in front of the team offering coffee, asking of the flight.’
    almost, just about, nearly, practically, virtually, all but
    View synonyms

preposition

  • 1At or to a short distance away from (a place)

    ‘the parking lot near the sawmill’
    ‘do you live near here?’
    [superlative] ‘the table nearest the door’
    • ‘But surely it would be easier to switch to a team nearer to home?’
    • ‘We had a home made wooden sledge and we took the crates and put it on the sledge and took them round to the houses near where we lived.’
    • ‘Taking a seat nearest to the door, no one noticed me come in.’
    • ‘But, if she gets her own premises, she wants to open it to the children around the bottom end of Ainsworth Road, near to where she lives.’
    • ‘I live very near to two major leyline crossings.’
    • ‘But residents of the area raised concerns at a planning meeting about security and the safety of children living near to the proposed compound.’
    • ‘‘It gave me a lot of joy when he came to live so near to us,’ she says.’
    • ‘But there are other sources to consider, even nearer to home: those inside the host equipment itself.’
    • ‘Residents living near to the site of the former Brandlesholme CP School have experienced problems with anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘But now there was a large dark mass in the distance, and near to her Maggie could discern the current of the river.’
    • ‘I desperately wanted to go to St Francois Girls' College because I lived near to it and my big sister went to that school.’
    • ‘The move means that my parents live near to one shop, a duck pond, a dodgy bus service and lots of green, rather than close to shopping malls, suburban estates, a tube station and lots of grey.’
    • ‘She can't stand the heat and would prefer to be somewhere nearer the cool British Isles.’
    • ‘For the moment, however, Franchitti's focus is nearer to home.’
    • ‘Lita asked and pointed to a figure in the distance, near the exit of the park.’
    • ‘He lived near to the University I attended so we planned that I would stop by one afternoon when I had a break at school.’
    • ‘And residents living near to the Sprotbrough site have complained of tiredness which they claim is directly attributable to the site.’
    • ‘On the empirical side, however, he came nearer to the truth.’
    • ‘Yu Zhan was probably nearest to the crash site when the accident occurred.’
    • ‘Jack Aiken, who lives near to the river, has made complaints to Bury Council about the state of the area, but was told by bosses they were not responsible for the upkeep of the riverbank.’
    • ‘Apparently, Frolls live in large meadows near to wooded areas, and they coexist with vampire albino deer.’
    • ‘Far away in the distance somewhere back near the Cork road, hooters blared angrily as road rage mounted.’
    • ‘Emi collected the two bags from him and set them on the floor some distance away, near to the wooden Buddha whose empty gaze made him edgy.’
    close to, close by, not far from, not far away from, a short distance from, in the vicinity of, in the neighbourhood of, within reach of, a stone's throw away from, next to, adjacent to, alongside, bordering on, adjoining, abutting, contiguous with
    within spitting distance of, a hop, skip, and a jump away from, within sniffing distance of
    View synonyms
  • 2A short period of time from.

    ‘near the end of the war’
    [comparative] ‘details will be given nearer the date’
    • ‘A two minute period near the end of the game determined the destiny of the trophy.’
    • ‘That was as good as it got for Manulla though Gary Heneghan also went close near the end.’
    • ‘Kelly could not keep out the Redskins for much longer and Wayne Trunchion scored a fourth goal near the end of the second period.’
    • ‘Leimanis was brought up in Latvia near the end of a long period of Russian domination.’
    • ‘Below were essay questions that were to be filled out near the end of the quarter.’
    • ‘For a brief period near the end of the half, Ireland exerted pressure.’
    • ‘Annoying for anyone that has recently paid for it, but not so bad for those of us who are near the end of our subscription period.’
    • ‘It was near the end of the dusk period when she finally caught her first glimpse of Arianna.’
    • ‘Traffic interactions on a clear day were filmed for about two hours near the noon period.’
    • ‘In early 1973 there were signs that this gloomy period was near its end.’
  • 3Close to (a state); verging on.

    ‘she gave a tiny smile, brave but near tears’
    ‘she was near death’
    • ‘When we were doing our first DIY, I was near to despair at the amount that had to be done.’
    • ‘He was losing weight at a dramatic rate and many of his closest friends feared he might be near death.’
    • ‘The rest were alive, but affected by the low temperatures and were near dead due to freezing.’
    • ‘The other two photographs are closer, and shows many birds dead, some near death and very few still standing.’
    1. 3.1 (used before an amount) a small amount below (something); approaching.
      ‘temperatures near 2 million degrees K’
      • ‘The number of nerve fibres that would need to grow from the eye to the brain in a human is roughly the same, somewhere near a million.’
      • ‘Where possible try to take landmarks that intercept at as near ninety degrees as possible.’
      • ‘Which boils down to paying a price in euros that is quite near the original price in dollars.’
      • ‘We here in Seattle had record temperatures,, somewhere near 100 degrees,, whew!’
      • ‘On a busy day, Daily Kos can get near to 1 million visitors and that gives them a better reach than most local newspapers.’
      • ‘All of these showed saturation at PPFD levels near or below those listed in Table 1.’
      • ‘The temperature outside early on the first day of the PBA World was near zero degrees.’
      • ‘"The actual number is probably nearer to half of that, " she said.’
      • ‘Lactic bacteria grow best in very weakly acidic solutions and at temperatures near those of the human body.’
      • ‘Consisting of near 800 Original Receipts, most of which never appeared in Print.’
      • ‘No other European power came near this degree of commitment to overseas expansion and empire in the nineteenth century.’
      • ‘It's had a high dividend yield and has been trading near or even below its net asset value for some time.’
      • ‘She had many different kinds of food on her plate, but no where near the amount Hildor had.’
      • ‘Agar-agar gels are unique in withstanding temperatures near boiling point.’
      • ‘The women didn't expect to raise anything near the amount they have - let alone be offered movie deals.’
  • 4Similar to.

    ‘a shape near to the original’
    • ‘While Cuadra's comments have been translated, they are as near to the original as possible.’
    • ‘The antiquarian revival of the later eighteenth century spawned an amazing attempt by Abraham Farley at reproducing the whole text in a form as near to the original as possible.’

adjective

  • 1Located a short distance away.

    ‘a big house in the near distance’
    [superlative] ‘I was fifteen miles from the nearest town’
    • ‘The ball bobbled viciously as it approached the near post, but Miller adroitly launched himself into its path.’
    • ‘For a while, it was so quiet that everyone in the near vicinity could hear the faint wind in the distance.’
    • ‘Once over the top the survivors had a clear view of the building in the near distance.’
    • ‘We had a swimming pool while our nearest rivals were still jumping in puddles.’
    • ‘You can't lose 12 points to your nearest challengers and expect to survive.’
    • ‘Just to the right of the tall tree, in the near distance, there is a field of sheep.’
    • ‘In the very near distance, someone sings, people cheer and utensils unremittingly hit glasses.’
    • ‘From his map, he knows there is an oasis somewhere in the near distance.’
    • ‘In battle, bows were good at a distance, and swords were excellent at a near range.’
    • ‘The visitor swore the children weren't near enough to the item to have moved it.’
    • ‘The lads done very well to win by four points against their near neighbours.’
    • ‘When he'd killed, he either wasn't near enough or never saw his opponent's eyes.’
    • ‘Although Earth's nearest neighbour, it could not be a more different world.’
    • ‘IBM officials claimed this number was around four times that of its nearest rival.’
    • ‘Nothing can be nearer to the truth - or farther from it.’
    • ‘Gardens and trees could be seen along the railway and highway, in contrast to the vast desert in the near distance.’
    • ‘The rest of it is only a few doors down our street, as he is a near neighbour of ours.’
    • ‘When you are out in a boat you will invariably be able to chose features on the bank that you can line up with others in the near or middle distance.’
    • ‘Our near neighbours came out to offer support and help while those further away came to check what was going on.’
    • ‘The nearest neighbours are some distance away, the emergency services yet further removed.’
    • ‘They proceed to meet each other and engage at a distance of two feet in the near position.’
    • ‘Wales may be a near neighbour but it has traits and trends that set it well apart from Ireland and neighbouring England.’
    • ‘Rudy grabbed him on the shoulder and propelled him towards the nearest fence post.’
    • ‘Heskey got there first to send a header spinning inside the near post.’
    • ‘A bar, and a liquor store were the auto shop's nearest neighbors.’
    close, nearby, not far away, not far off, close at hand, near at hand, at hand, a stone's throw away, within reach, within range, accessible, handy, convenient, local, neighbouring, adjacent, next-door, adjoining, bordering, abutting, contiguous, proximate
    View synonyms
  • 2Only a short time ahead.

    ‘the conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the near future’
    • ‘I know my son and I know there will be many questions from him in the near future.’
    • ‘A major clean up of Coulter cemetery will take place in the near future.’
    • ‘We look forward to having them back playing again in the near future.’
    • ‘Rudin says that a meeting with the judge who controls space allocation in Old City Hall is expected in the near future.’
    • ‘We are going ahead with that and there will be reserves in the near future.’
    • ‘Her energy and enthusiasm for singing tells me that we can expect good things coming from this Sister in the near future.’
    • ‘He said it was unlikely the decision would be reversed in the near future but could take place in the event of agreement on the talks.’
    • ‘And turn off your computer, or disconnect its network cable, if you are not planning to go online in the near future.’
    • ‘The contract for the upkeep of the scheme has been awarded in recent weeks and it is hoped that work will commence in the near future.’
    • ‘Band launching parties are becoming popular, and a viable Mash industry is not unlikely in the near future.’
    • ‘The arrival would coincide with the near completion of the village's new Catholic Church.’
    • ‘There is little hope of all these things happening in the near future.’
    • ‘He said he will raise the issue with the premier in the near future.’
    • ‘In the long term, in the near mid-term, I believe that we are going to have a decrease.’
    • ‘At a meeting of this committee recently, some proposals were made and are expected to be carried out in the near future.’
    • ‘The Professor threatens to post again on this topic in the near future.’
    • ‘Added to this, a further four primary schools and five secondary schools are expected to open in the near future.’
    • ‘However, he insisted the EGM would be going ahead in the near future.’
    • ‘That pressure on Canadians to pay for long-term care is likely to get worse rather than better in the near future.’
    • ‘So I guess I'll not be moving any time in the near future after all.’
    imminent, forthcoming, in the offing, close at hand, near at hand, at hand, approaching, impending, upcoming, coming, looming
    View synonyms
  • 3Similar.

    [superlative] ‘walking in these shoes is the nearest thing to floating on air’
    1. 3.1[attributive] Close to being (the thing mentioned)
      ‘his state of near despair’
      ‘a near disaster’
      • ‘Durrant leaned in close to his newest acquaintance and spoke in a near whisper.’
      • ‘A family connection is a near guarantee of winning public office - though not always and not to a top post.’
      • ‘The near failure of the monsoon has affected agricultural operations in 11 States.’
      • ‘A near record start of 21 yachts started on a lovely sunny afternoon for Monday's race with a good southerly wind.’
      • ‘The near defeat of the ruling party in the subsequent general election simply intensified their alarm.’
      • ‘For Roger Barker it was a near miss he said he would never forget.’
      • ‘At the time, no other lender charged anything near that much for closing a mortgage account.’
      • ‘It's always a cheap, black pair of shoes, they always last for about two years, they're always replaced by a near replica.’
      • ‘It took as its theme the near destruction by German bombers of the small Basque town of Guernica.’
      • ‘As the train came to a near stand still, passengers say they heard loud bangs coming from underneath the train.’
      • ‘We'll tell you about a near hit that could have been deadly when we come back.’
      • ‘In today's physical fitness conscious world, yoga is popular enough to assume a near cult status.’
      • ‘This is an experimental work devoted to linking words through sound, to the near exclusion of semantics.’
      • ‘The town grieved endlessly, and could scarcely accept the near absence of children.’
      • ‘One is tough enough to overcome, but both is a near impossibility.’
      • ‘It is a near miracle that the films are as good as they are, rivaling the books for sheer absorptive magic.’
      • ‘A bullock cart, the cause of the near disaster, materialized from the flurry.’
      • ‘It was reported that the hospitals refused to treat the injured until deposits were paid, causing a near riot.’
      • ‘Despite my near despair, I was in my usual seat yesterday afternoon.’
      • ‘The county council says the lollipop lady had two near misses in 48 hours.’
      narrow, close, by a hair's breadth
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2[attributive] Having a close family connection.
      ‘the loss of a child or other near relative’
      • ‘So what if the near and dear ones are not able to attend the marriage?’
      • ‘A near relative is the larger and better-known Chinese water chestnut.’
      • ‘In particular it provides for the election of our near cousins - the local body politicians.’
      • ‘Many a times, even the near relatives do not reveal the information about the boy's family.’
      • ‘Other fossil animals may be assignable to the Vetulicolia or their near relatives.’
      • ‘He went a few nights after with his sister to the assembly of a near relation.’
      closely related, close, related, connected
      View synonyms
  • 4[attributive] Located on the side of a vehicle that is normally closest to the curb.

    ‘the near right-hand end window of the trailer’
    Compare with off
  • 5archaic (of a person) stingy; miserly.

    mean, miserly, niggardly, close-fisted, penny-pinching, cheese-paring, ungenerous, penurious, illiberal, close, grasping, scrooge-like, stinting, sparing, frugal
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Come near to (someone or something); approach.

    ‘soon the cab would be nearing State Street’
    [no object] ‘lunchtime neared’
    • ‘The spring is here, and elections are nearing - the season of hopes has begun.’
    • ‘Ali is first seen in Lawrence as a tiny dot on a desert horizon that shimmers in the heat; he gradually becomes more distinct as he nears the camera.’
    • ‘They walked like that until mid-morning, when Margaret finally neared the edge of the forest.’
    • ‘Many teachers are nearing retirement with more than half being age 40 or older.’
    • ‘Residents fighting the decision to redevelop green belt land are fearing the worst as the Government nears a final decision.’
    • ‘As the election nears, a fair assessment is that the economy is actually doing well.’
    • ‘As this century nears the end, we know that our priorities aren't quite right.’
    • ‘It was nearing lunchtime when they finally arrived at the palace gates.’
    • ‘He himself was then nearing retirement, though he looked remarkably young and alert.’
    • ‘Construction has been ongoing over the past few months and is now nearing completion.’
    • ‘Scientists have said cod in particular is nearing extinction and called for a total moratorium.’
    • ‘Like little fireflies these lights danced in the dark, nearing ever closer.’
    • ‘The rumor mill is going at top speed as the March 11 trading deadline nears.’
    • ‘And since the re-opening of the pool in June visits are already nearing record levels.’
    • ‘The day of the amateur at the top table of Irish football is nearing extinction.’
    • ‘We are currently nearing the end of Phase 1 of a two-phase program.’
    • ‘Both projects were nearing the finish, but Franklin was pipped at the post.’
    • ‘When I heard footsteps nearing the door, I quickly pretended to be asleep again.’
    • ‘After three years of proposals and modifications they are finally nearing the planning application stage.’
    • ‘Rehearsals began in earnest in August and the first act is now nearing completion.’
    • ‘The final phase of the restoration project is currently nearing completion.’
    • ‘Then, I saw a figure shifting in the distance, slowly nearing.’
    approach, draw near to, draw nearer to, get near to, get nearer to, get close to, get closer to, come towards, move towards, advance towards, close in on
    verge on, border on, approach, get close to, approximate to
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • near at hand

    • Close in distance or time.

      ‘an all-electric future was near at hand’
      • ‘Addicts need to go through rehab and detox near their families, or have those facilities near at hand.’
      • ‘Lorna set the knives near at hand, then stood ready with a lamp.’
      • ‘They do need the comfort of having their relatives and friends near at hand and the knowledge that they are in the capable hands of a dedicated and caring staff of doctors and nurses.’
      • ‘We had a nice feeling of security to have our own troops so near at hand in this obviously hostile environment and we waved to them happily, but they were sunk in gloom and couldn't raise many smiles.’
      • ‘The two were seated around Mia's desk, cups of cocoa near at hand.’
      • ‘When somebody in your family falls ill - whether you are in Orkney or Greenock - you want a health professional near at hand.’
      • ‘Her voice was a grand thing near at hand, but Elary couldn't help noticing that it died away quickly against the high ceiling of the cavern.’
      • ‘‘Use materials from near at hand,’ advises Massachusetts builder John Abrams.’
      • ‘These urban dwellers wanted their recreational sites near at hand.’
      • ‘Penny now had playmates near at hand and there was always someone for me to talk to.’
      • ‘I thought of her as I wrote it, enjoyed imagining her having it always near at hand, lying on the wicker stool by her armchair at home.’
      • ‘When they were all finally seated around the tables, drinks near at hand, Jerusha started the conversation.’
      • ‘In whatever vehicle he was driving, a double-barreled, 12-gauge shotgun resided somewhere near at hand.’
      • ‘Although she would not look at him, she was always near at hand, so close that he felt he could feel the quickened beating of her heart.’
      • ‘Michael was very popular in Bohola and had a witty word always near at hand.’
      • ‘Since these came from islands where the sea is always near at hand, they took root most easily in the coastal strips.’
      • ‘He turned, smashing his fist into one of the statues that were near at hand, causing it to explode violently.’
      • ‘And it lists all the towns and cities which it claims are near at hand.’
      • ‘That rifle had been near at hand for so long it had almost seemed a part of me.’
      close by, close, nearby, close at hand, near at hand, not far away, not far off, in the neighbourhood, in the vicinity, at hand, within reach, within close range, on the doorstep, within earshot, within sight, a stone's throw away, at close quarters, alongside
      View synonyms
  • near enough

    • Sufficiently close to being the case for all practical purposes.

      ‘this price was near enough the going rate for rent’
      • ‘In fact there's only half a mile or so to go, I can see the lights of the houses, but near enough is good enough, it will have to be.’
      • ‘That's a hundred thousand pounds, near enough.’
      • ‘Not that we have many heroes to fall, but if they've got hubris they must think they're heroes, so near enough is good enough.’
      • ‘The entire pub near enough joined the conga line up and down the street…’
      • ‘Despite spending near enough the entire time at the sailing club, I somehow contrived to only sail once.’
      • ‘Bonds were reasonably active, but closed unchanged (or near enough as makes no odds).’
      • ‘Today was a nightmare. Seriously, I've been in every clothes shop in the city centre near enough.’
      • ‘‘Hayley is a perfectionist and near enough is never good enough for her,’ she said.’
      • ‘That's near enough 10p each and a third of the price of a single pelleted seed.’
      • ‘I don't have any idea how many wickets he has taken for Netherfield, but he must be near enough top of the pile.’
  • one's nearest and dearest

    • One's close friends and relatives.

      • ‘My birthday was really two weeks ago when my nearest and dearest friends took me out to dinner at Zin and prayed amazing things over me.’
      • ‘So we should not expect anything from anyone, not even our nearest and dearest.’
      • ‘People I never would have met were it not for this little old weblog have become my nearest and dearest friends.’
      • ‘You never know, your nearest and dearest might even prefer pizza.’
      • ‘After completing the course, students are not qualified to practice on the public but they do have sufficient skills to lay their hands on their nearest and dearest.’
      • ‘Working in the same field as your nearest and dearest can be tricky.’
      • ‘For example, you have a ferocious argument with your nearest and dearest.’
      • ‘We all need our confidence building every now and again and it is a sure bet that your nearest and dearest would appreciate a little confidence boost right now.’
      • ‘Hundreds of runners had tributes pinned to their shirts with photographs and names of their nearest and dearest who had lost their lives to cancer.’
      • ‘Just invite some of your nearest and dearest over to your house or organise a coffee morning in your office!’
      • ‘A frame of mind such as this may incline you to greater intimacy with your nearest and dearest.’
      • ‘There are now only 70 shopping days to Christmas and this is really the time to start thinking about what to buy your nearest and dearest.’
  • so near and yet so far

    • A rueful comment on someone's narrow failure to achieve an aim.

      • ‘Saturday morning came with a sense of apprehension and excitement with the thought that I was so near and yet so far from reaching Mecca, so to speak.’
      • ‘To come so near and yet so far is a massive disappointment.’
      • ‘We were so near and yet so far from getting into the Champions League final.’
      • ‘It was a case of so near and yet so far for Frances Kennedy from Listowel who just missed out on the honours in the recitation.’
      • ‘‘It is so near and yet so far,’ he says wistfully.’
      • ‘For Sorenstam, the 1995 and 1996 champion, it was another case of so near and yet so far in her try for a third US Open.’
      • ‘They could not bear another case of so near and yet so far.’
      • ‘‘Looking back for me it was so near and yet so far,’ says Hastings of what was a difficult tour, the honour of leading the Lions tempered by ultimate defeat.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse nær nearer comparative of ná, corresponding to Old English nēah nigh.

Pronunciation

near

/ˈnir/