Definition of nearly in US English:

nearly

adverb

  • 1Very close to; almost.

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

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

Phrases

  • not nearly

    • Nothing like; far from.

      ‘you're not nearly as clever as you think you are’
      • ‘In the cold light of day things didn't seem nearly as important as they first had.’
      • ‘We understood some players would not make it, but not nearly all of them.’
      • ‘A massive flop in America, the film is better than you feared but not nearly as good as you might have hoped.’
      • ‘Some of his bigger and older teammates were not nearly so impressive.’
      • ‘In truth, foxes are not nearly as great a menace to livestock as the hunt clubs who hunt foxes with hounds.’
      • ‘The problem is that our political situation is not nearly as good as our military one.’
      • ‘Something about the woman seemed familiar but not nearly enough to ring bells in my head.’
      • ‘We did in the end get a slightly better grant from the government, but not nearly as much as some of our colleagues.’
      • ‘The factor of location is important, but not nearly as important as many experts believe.’
      • ‘Still, she's not nearly as bald as she was a year and a half ago, and she likes her new look well enough.’
      • ‘Someone who has no fear is not nearly as brave as someone who has fears and faces them.’
      • ‘They were better at the World Cup a year later, but not nearly good enough.’
      • ‘I must have had it for nearly ten years and it didn't fit anyone nearly as well as it fits you.’
      • ‘It's not nearly as healthy as fresh fruit, but it still makes a tasty treat.’
      • ‘It's patronising and slightly depressing but not nearly as horrible as the final film this week.’
      • ‘Formal qualifications are not nearly as important as physical fitness and an outgoing personality.’
      • ‘Considering the scale of the problem, this agreement was not nearly enough.’
      • ‘Up at half six, and on yet another train - not nearly as nice this time - shortly after eight.’
      • ‘Widespread rain this week has given some relief to farmers, but not nearly enough.’
      • ‘After long travelling, foul weather and false starts, the picture before us is not nearly so idyllic or clear cut.’
      • ‘The paid hacks are not nearly satisfied with making a living as mouthpieces of suspect leaders.’
      • ‘I feel that not nearly enough revenue is being generated in the county from these visitors.’
      • ‘By comparison, the bears in the zoo are not nearly as similar to humans as are the apes.’

Pronunciation

nearly

/ˈnɪrli//ˈnirlē/