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From Middle English neiȝnen, equivalent to nigh +‎ -en. Cognate with German nähnen.


nighen (third-person singular simple present nighens, present participle nighening, simple past and past participle nighened)

  1. (intransitive) To come near; approach.
    • 1807, George Burnett, Specimens of English prose-writers:
      [...] with so horrible countenance, that no man dare not nighen towards him.
  2. (transitive) To bring near; appropriate.
    • 1886, William Barnes, A glossary of the Dorset dialect:
      If you take an apple from the table you (1) reach forth the hand to it, (2) you close your fingers on it, (3) you nighen or bring back your hand with it.