nigh

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See also: Nigh

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English neygh, nygh, nye, nyȝ, 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). See also near.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /naɪ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ

Adjective[edit]

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

  1. (archaic, poetic) near, close by
    The end is nigh!
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto IX, stanza 14, page 311:
      For with ſuch puiſſance and impetuous maine / Thoſe Champions broke on them, that forſt the fly, / Like ſcattered Sheepe, whenas the Shepherds ſwaine / A Lyon and a Tigre doth eſpye, / With greedy pace forth ruſhing from the foreſt nye.
    • a. 1831, Ludovico Ariosto, William Stewart Rose (translator), Orlando Furioso, 2006, Echo Library, page 185,
      He at his head took aim who stood most nigh;
    • 1831, John Knox, The History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, page 421,
      By these and many histories more, it is most evident, that the more nigh salvation and deliverance approach, the more vehement is temptation and trouble.
    • 1834, Davy Crockett, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, page 197,
      The enemy, somewhat imboldened, draws nigher to the fort.
    • 1889, House of Commons of Canada, Debates: Official Report, Volume 2, page 1408,
      You then went to St. Andrews, the nighest ocean port.
    • 2020 May 20, John Crosse, “Soon to be gone... but never forgotten”, in Rail, page 63, photo caption:
      The end is nigh (or at least it was supposed to be), but the Pacers in northern England kept plugging away providing a service while awaiting the much-delayed arrival of their replacements.
  2. Not remote in degree, kindred, circumstances, etc.; closely allied; intimate.

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

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Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive, intransitive) to draw nigh (to); to approach; to come near
    • 1924, Thomas Hardy, He Resolves to Say No More
      When the charnel-eyed Pale Horse has nighed

Alternative forms[edit]

  • ny (obsolete)

Quotations[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

nigh (not comparable)

  1. Almost, nearly.
    • 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.
    • 2017 July 16, Brandon Nowalk, “Chickens and dragons come home to roost on Game Of Thrones (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Hell of a surprise in the seventh season premiere of Game Of Thrones. Arya Stark, fresh off a nigh Cersei-level ambush of the Frey household, comes upon a small campfire surrounded by fresh-faced red cloaks.

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
    • 1661-5, Thomas Salusbury (translator), Galileo Galilei, Dialogue concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632
      When the Moon is horned [] is it not ever nigh the Sun?

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[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]

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References[edit]


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]

  • nigh” in Edward Dwelly, Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan/The Illustrated [Scottish] Gaelic–English Dictionary, 10th edition, Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, 1911, →ISBN.
  • Gregory Toner, Maire Ní Mhaonaigh, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko, Maire-Luise Theuerkauf, editors (2019) , “nigid”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language