nigh

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English nēah, nēh, from Proto-Germanic *nēhw. Cognate with Dutch na(close, near), German nah(close, near, nearby), Luxembourgish no(nearby, near, close). Also see near.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

nigh ‎(comparative nigher or more nigh, superlative nighest or most nigh)

  1. (archaic, poetic) near, close by
    The end is nigh!
  2. Not remote in degree, kindred, circumstances, etc.; closely allied; intimate.
    • Knolles
      nigh kinsmen
    • Bible, Eph. ii. 13
      Ye [] are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Near was originally the comparative form of nigh; the superlative form was next. Nigh is used today mostly in archaic, poetic, or regional contexts.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

nigh ‎(third-person singular simple present nighs, present participle nighing, simple past and past participle nighed)

  1. To draw nigh (to); to approach; to come near.
    night is nighing, death is nighing
    nighing his hour
    a death-nighing moan

Quotations[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

nigh ‎(not comparable)

  1. Almost, nearly.
    Achieving the summit in a single day is, well, nigh impossible.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 12, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      So, after a spell, he decided to make the best of it and shoved us into the front parlor. [] It looked like a tomb and smelt pretty nigh as musty and dead-and-gone.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nigh is sometimes used as a combining form.

Quotations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Preposition[edit]

nigh

  1. near; close to
    When the Moon is horned ... is it not ever nigh the Sun?

Translations[edit]


Irish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Irish nigid(he washes), from Proto-Indo-European *neygʷ-(to wash).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

nigh ‎(present analytic níonn, future analytic nífidh, verbal noun , past participle nite)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) wash

Conjugation[edit]

Related terms[edit]

  • níochán m((act of) washing; wash, laundry; clothes washed or to be washed)

References[edit]

  • "nigh" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • nigid” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Irish nigid(he washes), from Proto-Indo-European *neygʷ-(to wash) (compare English nixie(water sprite), Ancient Greek νίζω(nízō)).

Verb[edit]

nigh ‎(past nigh, future nighidh, verbal noun nighe, past participle nighte)

  1. wash, cleanse, purify
  2. bathe

Inflection[edit]

Tense \ Voice Active Passive
Present a' nighe --
Past nigh nigheadh
Future nighidh nighear
Conditional nigheadh nighteadh

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

nigh f ‎(genitive singular nighe)

  1. daughter
  2. niece

References[edit]

  • Faclair Gàidhlig Dwelly Air Loidhne, Dwelly, Edward (1911), Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan/The Illustrated [Scottish] Gaelic-English Dictionary (10th ed.), Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, ISBN 0 901771 92 9
  • nigid” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.