Meaning of NEAR in English


1. not far away

2. near where you live

3. easy to get to

4. the nearest house/shop/station etc

5. the fact of being near

6. near enough to pick up/touch/hit

7. near enough to see or hear clearly

8. to get nearer to someone or something

9. to be getting nearer to a person or vehicle in front of you

10. to stay very near to someone or something

11. to not go near to a person or place




see also



1. not far away

▷ near /nɪəʳ/ [preposition/adverb/adjective]

only a short distance from a person, place, or thing :

▪ We camped in a forest near a large lake.

▪ Don’t go near the fire.

▪ Have you ever been to Versailles? It’s near Paris.

▪ The place where we were going was much nearer than I thought.

near enough to do something

▪ Bob was standing near enough to hear what they were saying.

nearer to something/nearest to something

▪ If we moved to Dallas we’d be nearer to my parents.

▪ Only the people who were nearest to the speaker could actually hear what he said.

near here

▪ The accident happened somewhere near here.

▷ close /kləʊs/ [adverb/adjective]

very near to something or someone, or almost touching them :

▪ As we approached Abbeville, the gunfire sounded very close.

close to

▪ Don’t drive so close to the edge of the road.

close behind/beside

▪ Suddenly we heard footsteps close behind us.

close together

▪ The houses were built very close together, and the gardens were rather small.

▪ Nancy came over and sat close beside me on the bed.

close by

near where you are

▪ Is there a gas station close by?

▷ a short distance /ə ˌʃɔːʳt ˈdɪstəns/ [noun phrase]

used to say that something is quite near something or someone :

a short distance away

▪ I’d parked my car a short distance away, just around the corner.

a short distance from

▪ Harvard University is only a short distance from the center of Boston.

a short distance to the south/north etc

▪ The source of the river is a short distance to the south of here.

▷ not far /nɒt ˈfɑːʳ/ [adverb]

not a very long distance away - use this about somewhere that is near enough to be easy to get to :

▪ ‘How far’s the station?’ ‘Oh, not far - about ten minutes by car.’

not far from

▪ Asti is not far from the French border.

not far away

▪ Our hotel was in the centre of town but the beach wasn’t far away.

▷ nearby /ˌnɪəʳˈbaɪ◂/ [adverb]

near the place where you are or the place you are talking about :

▪ Dave, who was sitting nearby, laughed when he heard this.

▪ The house is really nice, and a lot of my friends live nearby.

▪ It was very convenient having the garage nearby.

nearby [adjective only before noun]

▪ Lucy was staying with her aunt in the nearby town of Hamilton.

▷ neighbouring British /neighboring American /ˈneɪb ə rɪŋ/ [adjective only before noun]

a neighbouring country, town, area etc is near the place where you are or the place you are talking about :

▪ The fair attracted thousands of people from neighbouring areas.

▪ Soldiers and firemen from 13 neighboring towns wrestled with the blaze for hours.

▷ in the vicinity /ɪn ðə vɪˈsɪnə̇ti/ [adverb] formal

in the area around and near a particular place :

▪ A white van was seen in the vicinity at about the time when the murder took place.

in the vicinity of

▪ In the past ten years there have been more cases of cancer in the vicinity of nuclear installations.

2. near where you live

▷ local /ˈləʊk ə l/ [adjective only before noun]

a local store, hospital etc is in the area where you live and that you are most likely to use :

▪ Volunteers like Joyce go round local schools helping children with their reading problems.

somebody’s local school/cinema etc

▪ You can find all these books in your local library.

▪ Polzeath is our local beach, but there are better surfing beaches further away.

locally [adverb]

in the area near where you live or work :

▪ We prefer to do all our shopping locally.

▪ Do you work locally?

▷ on your doorstep /ɒn jɔːʳ ˈdɔːʳstep/ [adverb] informal

very near the place where you live :

▪ We’re very lucky to have the park right on our doorstep.

▪ Homelessness is a problem that too many people ignore. Yet it’s happening on our own doorstep.

▷ in your own backyard /ɪn jɔːr ˌəʊn bækˈjɑːʳd/ [adverb] informal

near the place where you live - use this especially when talking about something that you do not want there :

▪ Most people want the new airport so long as it isn’t in their own backyard.

3. easy to get to

▷ within walking/driving etc distance /wɪðɪn ˈwɔːkɪŋ ˌdɪstəns/ [adverb]

if a place is within walking distance, it is not far away, and you can walk there easily :

▪ There are several good restaurants within walking distance.

within walking/driving etc distance of

▪ Dr Goldthorpe lived within walking distance of the University.

within easy walking etc distance (of something)

▪ Fortunately the house that we were renting was within easy driving distance of the shops.

▷ within reach /wɪðɪn ˈriːtʃ/ [adverb]

near enough to a town or place for you to get there without too much difficulty :

within reach of

▪ It was just lucky that we were within reach of a hospital.

within easy reach

near enough to get to easily

▪ Around Salzburg there are literally dozens of exciting places to visit -- all within easy reach.

▷ convenient/handy for something British also convenient to something American /kənˈviːniənt, ˈhændi fəʳ something, kənˈviːniənt tə something/ [adjective]

if your home, office etc is convenient for or handy for a particular place, that place is near it and easy to reach :

▪ The place where we live now is very convenient for the school - it’s only a couple of minutes on foot.

▪ My husband works in London so we’re looking for a house that’s handy for the station.

▪ We found an apartment convenient to campus and public transportation.

conveniently [adverb]

▪ The campsite was conveniently situated, close to the beach.

▷ around the corner also round the corner British /əˌraʊnd ðə ˈkɔːʳnəʳ, ˌraʊnd ðə ˈkɔːʳnəʳ/ [adverb]

not far away, especially in the streets of a town :

▪ ‘Is there a bank near here?’ ‘Sure, it’s just around the corner.’

▪ She won’t be long, she’s only gone round the corner.

around the corner from

▪ We met in a bar just around the corner from my apartment.

▷ be close at hand /biː ˌkləʊs ət ˈhænd/ [verb phrase]

if a building or person is close at hand, they are very near and therefore available in case you need them :

▪ The Exhibition Centre is a great day out, with plenty of parking and all the attractions of Manchester close at hand.

▪ I’m very glad that, when my children were small, my mother was always close at hand.

▷ it’s no distance /ɪts ˈnəʊ ˌdɪstəns/

if you say it’s no distance, you mean that a place is not far away and is therefore easy to get to :

▪ We come up here regularly from London; it’s no distance.

it’s no distance from

▪ It’s no distance from here to Fifth Avenue. We can easily walk it.

▷ be a stone’s throw from /bɪː ə ˈstəʊnz θrəʊ frɒm/ [verb phrase]

if one place is a stone’s throw from another place, it is only a very short distance from it, so that it is easy to get to :

▪ I was born in Wembley, a stone’s throw from the football stadium!

only a stone’s throw from something

▪ Stanford Hospital is only a stone’s throw from where I live.

within a stone’s throw of something

▪ The river’s within a stone’s throw of our apartment - we can see it from the window.

4. the nearest house/shop/station etc

▷ nearest /ˈnɪ ə rɪst, ˈnɪ ə rəst/ [adjective]

the nearest shop, station etc that is closest to where you are :

▪ Excuse me, where’s the nearest subway station?

▷ the next /ðə ˈnekst/ [determiner]

the next house, street etc that is closest to the one you are in or the one you are talking about :

▪ The people in the next apartment were making a lot of noise.

▪ I had to move the car. It’s just around the corner in the next street.

5. the fact of being near

▷ nearness/closeness /ˈnɪəʳnɪs, ˈnɪəʳnəs, ˈkləʊsnə̇s/ [uncountable noun]

nearness/closeness to

▪ The price of villas varies considerably, according to their facilities and their nearness to the sea.

▪ Some of the people took advantage of their village’s closeness to the border and made profits from smuggling.

▷ proximity /prɒkˈsɪmɪti, prɒkˈsɪmətiǁprɑːk-/ [uncountable noun] formal

nearness :

proximity to

▪ San Francisco has a significant immigrant population because of its proximity to Asia.

proximity of

▪ The proximity of schools, stores, hospitals, and so on is an important factor when purchasing a house.

6. near enough to pick up/touch/hit

▷ handy /ˈhændi/ [adjective not before noun]

if something is handy, it is near enough for you to pick up and use quickly and easily :

keep/have something handy

▪ Make sure you keep your passport and ticket handy.

▪ A lot of people in the States have a gun handy at night and when they travel.

▷ within reach /wɪðɪn ˈriːtʃ/ [adverb]

if something is within reach, it is near enough for you to take hold of or touch when you stretch out your hand :

▪ As soon as she was within reach he grabbed her wrist.

within easy reach

▪ Roy pulled the ashtray towards him so that it was within easy reach.

within somebody’s reach

▪ At this exploratory stage, small children will want to touch anything you leave within their reach.

▷ within range /wɪðɪn ˈreɪndʒ/ [adverb]

if something is within range, it is near enough for you to attack it or for a weapon to reach it :

▪ Once its prey is within range, the snake’s head shoots forward to attack.

within range of

▪ The village is well within range of the rockets which are being fired.

come within range of something

▪ A day later, the ‘Tiger’ convoy came within range of air attack.

▷ point-blank /ˌpɔɪnt ˈblæŋk◂/ [adverb]

a gun fired point-blank is fired very close to the person or thing it is aimed at :

▪ The men broke into the building at the dead of night, and shot their victims point-blank as they slept.

point-blank [adjective]

at point-blank range

▪ Police say that she died as a result of a single bullet fired at point-blank range.

7. near enough to see or hear clearly

▷ close up /ˌkləʊs ˈʌp/ [adverb]

very near, especially so that you can see something clearly :

▪ If you look at the painting close up you can see that it’s a fake.

close up to

▪ Dragging a chair close up to the television screen, she sat down to watch the film.

▷ at close quarters /ət ˌkləʊs ˈkwɔːʳtəʳz/ [adverb]

if you see or experience something at close quarters, often something dangerous or frightening, you are closer to it than usual, especially so that you can see it clearly :

▪ From our hiding place we were able to observe the animals at close quarters.

▪ This was the first time I had seen such poverty at close quarters.

▷ up close /ʌp ˈkləʊs/ [adverb]

very near someone or something, especially after you have only seen them from a distance :

come/get/go/move etc up close

▪ Brigit looked great from a distance, but when she came up close you could see that she wore a lot of make-up.

▪ ‘All you have to do is to get up close,’ Woolley said, ‘ and shoot straight.’

▷ close-up /ˈkləʊs ʌp/ [countable noun]

a photograph taken from very near :

▪ She brought the camera forward to get a close-up of the actor’s face.

in close-up

from very near

▪ Each butterfly had been photographed in close-up so that you could see every detail.

8. to get nearer to someone or something

▷ get near/close /ˌget ˈnɪəʳ, ˈkləʊs/ [verb phrase]

to go or come nearer to a person, place, or thing :

▪ As Kay got near the house she began to feel nervous.

get near/close to

▪ We had been traveling for two hours and I knew that we must be getting close to Vancouver.

get near/close enough to do something

▪ I couldn’t get close enough to see what was happening.

get nearer/closer (to something)

▪ People were running for shelter. The hurricane was getting closer and closer.

▪ Every day the Russian tanks were getting nearer to Berlin.

▷ approach /əˈprəʊtʃ/ [intransitive/transitive verb not in passive]

to move gradually closer to a person, place, or thing. Approach is more formal than get near and get close. :

▪ The train slowed down as it started to approach the station.

▪ We could hear footsteps approaching down the corridor.

approaching [adjective]

▪ The speed of the approaching car was close to 80 mph.

▷ close in on /ˌkləʊz ˈɪn ɒn/ []

if a group of people close in on someone or something, they gradually move closer to them from all sides so that they surround them in a threatening way :

▪ Well-organized bands of rebels began to close in on the capital.

▪ The divers were surrounded by three sharks which were rapidly closing in on them.

▪ TV crews closed in on Geldof as soon as he stepped out of his car.

▷ near /nɪəʳ/ [transitive verb not in passive]

to gradually get nearer to a place - used especially in stories or descriptions of events :

▪ As she neared her home she could see a light in the window.

▷ draw near /ˌdrɔː ˈnɪəʳ/ [verb phrase] written

to move closer to something or someone :

▪ The two men were talking, but as we drew near they turned and stared at us.

▪ Madge drew a little nearer so that she could hear what he was saying.

draw near to

▪ The rebels hoped that many of the government troops would join them when they drew near to the city.

9. to be getting nearer to a person or vehicle in front of you

▷ be catching up /biː ˌkætʃɪŋ ˈʌp/ [verb phrase]

▪ On the last lap of the race, Gemma started to catch up, and it looked as though she could still win.

be catching up with

▪ Looking back I could see that the rest of the group were catching up with us.

▷ be gaining on/be closing on /biː ˈgeɪnɪŋ ɒn, biː ˈkləʊzɪŋ ɒn/ [verb phrase]

to be steadily getting nearer to a person or vehicle in front of you that you are chasing or racing against, by going faster than them :

▪ Donna looked in her rear-view mirror and saw with alarm that the Audi was still gaining on her.

▪ Now ‘Australia II’ is closing on the American yacht and it could still win this race.

10. to stay very near to someone or something

▷ stay close/keep close /ˌsteɪ ˈkləʊs, ˌkiːp ˈkləʊs/ [verb phrase]

stay close/keep close to

▪ While the eggs are hatching the mother bird stays close to the nest.

stay close/keep close together

▪ Once we’re inside the cave, we must all keep close together. We don’t want anyone to get lost.

▷ cling to /ˈklɪŋ tuː/ [transitive verb not in passive]

if someone, especially a child, clings to you, they stay close to you all the time, especially because they lack confidence and depend on you too much :

▪ It’s quite common for a child to cling to his or her mother on the first day at school.

▪ One of the girls was clinging to me all night at the disco. I just couldn’t get rid of her.

▷ hug /hʌg/ [transitive verb not in passive]

to stay very close to the edge or surface of something, especially while moving along it :

▪ The new road will stretch from Barcelona to the Adriatic, hugging the Mediterranean coast.

▪ A row of tiny feeding fish were hugging the rock surface where I stood.

▪ After Dunseverik, the path hugs the clifftop near Brebane Head.

11. to not go near to a person or place

▷ not go near/not come near /nɒt gəʊ ˈnɪəʳ, nɒt kʌm ˈnɪəʳ/ [verb phrase]

▪ You’d better not come near me. I’ve got a bad cold.

▪ People didn’t go anywhere near the place at night. They were frightened of ghosts.

▪ Don’t go too near the fire!

▷ stay away from/keep away from /ˌsteɪ əˈweɪ frɒm, ˌkiːp əˈweɪ frɒm/ [transitive verb]

to never go near something or someone or to not go near them during a period of time, especially in order to avoid danger or trouble :

▪ Stay away from the edge of the cliff.

stay/keep well away from something/somebody

▪ If I were you I’d keep well away from him. He doesn’t have a good reputation.

▷ keep your distance /ˌkiːp jɔːʳ ˈdɪstəns/ [verb phrase]

to not go too close to someone or something, especially because it might be dangerous or harmful to go near :

▪ Police warned the public to keep their distance if they saw a man fitting this description.

keep your distance from

▪ Stick to the paths, and make sure you keep your distance from nesting birds.

▷ keep back/stay back /ˌkiːp ˈbæk, ˌsteɪ ˈbæk/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if you tell someone to keep back or stay back, you mean that they should not come nearer, especially because of possible danger :

▪ Keep back, everyone! The tree may come down at any moment.

keep/stay well back

▪ She lit the bonfire and told the children to stay well back.

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