From Middle English nere, ner, from Old English nēar (“nearer”, comparative of nēah (“nigh”)), influenced by Old Norse nær (“near”), both originating from Proto-Germanic *nēhwiz (“nearer”), comparative of the adverb *nēhw (“near”), from the adjective *nēhwaz, ultimately from Pre-Germanic *h₂nḗḱwos, a lengthened-grade adjective derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₂neḱ- (“to reach”). Cognate with Old Frisian niār (“nearer”), Dutch naar (“to, towards”), German näher (“nearer”), Danish nær (“near, close”), Norwegian nær (“near, close”) Swedish nära (“near, close”). See also nigh.
Near appears to be derived from (or at the very least influenced by) the North Germanic languages; compare Danish nær (“near, close”), Norwegian nær (“near, close”) Swedish nära (“near, close”), as opposed to nigh, which continues the inherited West Germanic adjective, like Dutch na (“close, near”), German nah (“close, near, nearby”), Luxembourgish no (“nearby, near, close”). Both, however, are ultimately derived from the same Proto-Germanic root: *nēhw (“near, close”).
- (UK) enPR: nîr; IPA(key): /nɪə(ɹ)/
Audio (UK) (file) Audio (file)
- (US) enPR: nîr; IPA(key): /nɪɚ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)
- Physically close.
- Close in time.
- The end is near.
- Closely connected or related.
- The deceased man had no near relatives.
- Close to one's interests, affection, etc.; intimate; dear.
- A matter of near consequence to me.
- a near friend
- Close to anything followed or imitated; not free, loose, or rambling.
- a version near to the original
- So as barely to avoid or pass injury or loss; close; narrow.
- a near escape
- Approximate, almost.
- The two words are near synonyms.
- (Britain, in relation to a vehicle) On the side nearest to the kerb (the left-hand side if one drives on the left).
- The near front wheel came loose.
- Antonym: off
- (dated) Next to the driver, when he is on foot; (US) on the left of an animal or a team.
- the near ox; the near leg
- (obsolete) Immediate; direct; close; short.
- (now rare) Stingy; parsimonious. [from 17th c.]
- Don't be near with your pocketbook.
- 1782, Frances Burney, Cecilia, II.iii.1:
- “[T]o let you know, Miss, he's so near, it's partly a wonder how he lives at all: and yet he's worth a power of money, too.”
- Near was originally the comparative form of nigh; the superlative form was next. Nigh is used today mostly in archaic, poetic, or regional contexts.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- At or towards a position close in space or time. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- Nearly; almost.
- He was near unconscious when I found him.
- I jumped into the near-freezing water.
- I near ruptured myself trying to move the piano.
- 1666, Samuel Pepys, Diary and Correspondence, (1867)
- […] he hears for certain that the Queen-Mother is about and hath near finished a peace with France […]
- 1825, David Hume, Tobias George Smollett, The History of England, page 263
- Sir John Friend had very near completed a regiment of horse.
- 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 169:
- Peter ran after them as fast as his legs would carry him, but at last he had only one of the hares left, and when this was gone, he was very near burst with running.
- 2003, Owen Parry, Honor's Kingdom, page 365
- Thinking about those pounds and pence, I near forgot my wound.
- 2004, Jimmy Buffett, A Salty Piece of Land page 315
- "I damn near forgot." He pulled an envelope from his jacket.
- 2006, Juliet Marillier, The Dark Mirror, page 377
- The fire was almost dead, the chamber near dark.
The sense of nearly or almost is dialect, colloquial, old-fashioned or poetic in certain uses, such as, in many cases, when near is used to directly modify a verb.
- Physically close to, in close proximity to.
- There are habitable planets orbiting many of the stars near our Sun.
- 1820, Mary Shelley, Maurice, or The Fisher's Cot:
- He entered the inn, and asking for dinner, unbuckled his wallet, and sat down to rest himself near the door.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XVII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
- This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything.
- 1927, H.P. Lovecraft, The Colour Out of Space:
- It shied, balked, and whinnied, and in the end he could do nothing but drive it into the yard while the men used their own strength to get the heavy wagon near enough the hayloft for convenient pitching.
- 2013 August 16, John Vidal, “Dams endanger ecology of Himalayas”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 10, page 8:
- Most of the Himalayan rivers have been relatively untouched by dams near their sources. Now the two great Asian powers, India and China, are rushing to harness them as they cut through some of the world's deepest valleys.
- Close to in time.
- The voyage was near completion.
- Close to in nature or degree.
- His opinions are near the limit of what is acceptable.
- 2019, Emma Lea, A Royal Enticement
- There was no way Brín felt anything anywhere near what I felt for him. He saw me as a friend.
Joan Maling (1983) shows that near is best analysed as an adjective with which the use of to is optional, rather than a preposition. It has the comparative and the superlative, and it can be followed by enough. The use of to however is usually British.
- (transitive, intransitive) To come closer to; to approach.
- The ship nears the land.
- 1964 May, Cecil J. Allen, “Locomotive Running Past and Present”, in Modern Railways, pages 331-332:
- We started back in the same conditions, and for part of the journey ran through semi-darkness, but the sun appeared once again as we neared London.
- 2021 February 24, Greg Morse, “Great Heck: a tragic chain of events”, in RAIL, number 925, page 38:
- As he neared a bridge over the East Coast Main Line near Great Heck, he lost control. His Land Rover left the carriageway and veered onto the hard shoulder before biting into the grass verge.
near (plural nears)
- The left side of a horse or of a team of horses pulling a carriage etc.
- near at OneLook Dictionary Search
- Joan Maling (1983), Transitive Adjectives: A Case of Categorial Reanalysis, in F. Henry and B. Richards (eds.), Linguistic Categories: Auxiliaries and Related Puzzles, vol.1, pp. 253-289.
- 2nd person singular present indicative form of neart
- 3rd person singular present indicative form of neart
- 3rd person plural present indicative form of neart
- 2nd person singular imperative form of neart
- (with the particle lai) 3rd person singular imperative form of neart
- (with the particle lai) 3rd person plural imperative form of neart
- ne n
near pl (definite plural neane)
- “ne” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
- 1927, “ZONG OF TWI MAARKEET MOANS”, in THE ANCIENT DIALECT OF THE BARONIES OF FORTH AND BARGY, COUNTY WEXFORD, line 7:
- Near parshagh moan.
- By the other passive woman.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 59
- Kathleen A. Browne (1927) The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Sixth Series, Vol.17 No.2, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, page 129