Meaning of NEAR in English

I. near 1 S1 W1 /nɪə $ nɪr/ BrE AmE adverb , preposition

1 . SHORT DISTANCE AWAY only a short distance from a person or thing ⇨ close , nearby :

They live near London.

I’m sure they live somewhere near here.

They moved house to be nearer the school.

near to especially British English :

a hotel near to the beach

She told the children not to go near the canal.

I’m warning you – don’t come any nearer!

We heard voices as we drew near the village.


The form near is not often used as an adverb without to , except in the phrase quite near :

The school is quite near.

However, the comparative nearer is often used as an adverb:

The sound got nearer and nearer.

► Do not say 'near from something'. Use to after near .

2 . SHORT TIME BEFORE soon before a particular time or event:

I didn’t remember to phone until near the end of the week.

near to especially British English :

I’ll give you a ring a bit nearer to Christmas.

They should send us more details nearer the time of the concert.

3 . ALMOST DOING SOMETHING almost doing something or almost in a particular state:

The work is now near completion.

A lot of the women were near tears.

We are no nearer an agreement than we were six months ago.

near to

He was near to panic as he scrambled out of the building.

She was near to crying.

He seemed to know that he was near to death.

4 . AMOUNT OR LEVEL almost at a particular amount or level:

Inflation is now near 10%.

He looked nearer fifty than forty.

near to

Unemployment is now near to its all-time low.

Strawberries are near the top of the list.

5 . SIMILAR if something is near something else, it is similar to it:

His story was near enough the truth for people to believe it.

near to

They say that love is very near to hate.

It may not be an exact replica but it’s pretty damn near.

6 . near perfect/impossible etc almost perfect, impossible etc:

a near impossible task

7 . draw near if an event is drawing near, it is nearly time for it to happen:

The day of his interview was drawing near.

8 . (as) near as damn it British English spoken used to say that something is very nearly true or correct:

The repairs will cost us £1000, as near as damn it.

9 . near enough British English used to say that something is nearly true or correct:

It’s eleven o'clock, near enough.

All three car parks were full, near enough.

10 . nowhere near/not anywhere near used before an adjective or adverb to say that something is definitely not true:

That’s nowhere near enough money!

The job wasn’t anywhere near finished.

11 . not come near somebody/something if one person or thing does not come near another one, it is not at all as good as the other one:

None of the other word processing programs comes near this one.

12 . somebody will not go near somebody/something if someone will not go near a person or thing, they dislike or are frightened of them and will not speak to the person or use the thing:

He refused to go near a doctor.

He made up his mind never to go near a motorcycle again.

13 . so near and yet so far used to emphasize that someone very nearly achieved or got something

• • •


▪ near only a short distance from something or someone:

I live near Salzburg in Austria.


If we moved to Dallas, we’d be near my parents.

▪ close very near something or someone, or almost touching them:

The hotel is close to the beach.


Nancy came and sat close beside me on the bed.

▪ not far (away) not a long distance away – used when saying that a place is near enough to be easy to get to:

The station’s not far away from here.

▪ nearby near here or near a particular place:

Is there a post office nearby?


A group of reporters were waiting nearby.

▪ within walking distance (of something) easy to walk to from somewhere, or near enough to something for you to walk there:

There’s a good school within walking distance.


The house is within walking distance of shopping facilities.

▪ be convenient for something British English , be convenient to something American English to be near a place that people want to get to, so that the place is easy to reach:

The area is very convenient for Gatwick airport.


I want a hotel that’s convenient for the city centre.

▪ locally in or near the area where you are or the area you are talking about:

I prefer to buy fruit and vegetables that are grown locally.

▪ around here ( also round here British English ) spoken in the general area near here:

Parking is impossible around here.


Is there a garage round here?

▪ in the neighbourhood British English , in the neighborhood American English living or existing in the area where you are or the area you are talking about:

We grew up knowing all the other kids in the neighbourhood.


There’s very little crime in the neighborhood.

▪ in the vicinity formal in the area around and near a particular place – used especially in news reports:

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

▪ neighbouring British English , neighboring American English used about towns, countries etc that are very near a particular place:

discussions between Egypt and neighbouring states


The rioting quickly spread to neighbouring areas.

II. near 2 S2 W3 BrE AmE adjective

1 . only a short distance away from someone or something ⇨ close , nearby :

It’s a beautiful house but it’s 20 miles away from the nearest town.

We can meet at the pub or in the restaurant, whichever’s nearer for you.


The form near is not used with this meaning before a noun. Use nearby instead:

a nearby park

However, the superlative nearest is often used before a noun:

They headed for the nearest beach.

2 . a near disaster/collapse etc almost a ↑ disaster , ↑ collapse etc:

The election was a near disaster for the Conservative party.

3 . the nearest thing/equivalent to something the thing you have that is most like a particular type of thing:

He’s the nearest thing to a father I’ve got.

4 . in the near future soon:

They promised to contact us again in the near future.

5 . be a near thing British English

a) if something you succeed in doing is a near thing, you manage to succeed but you nearly failed:

They won the championship, but it was a near thing.

b) used to say that you just managed to avoid a dangerous or unpleasant situation:

That was a near thing – that truck was heading straight for us.

6 . near miss

a) when a bomb, plane, car etc nearly hits something but does not:

a near miss between two passenger aircraft over the airport

b) a situation in which something almost happens, or someone almost achieves something

7 . to the nearest £10/hundred etc an amount to the nearest £10, hundred etc is the number nearest to it that can be divided by £10, a hundred etc:

Give me the car mileage to the nearest thousand.

8 .

a) near relative/relation a relative who is very closely related to you such as a parent:

The death of a near relative is a terrible trauma for a child.

b) sb’s nearest and dearest someone’s family – used humorously

9 . [only before noun, no comparative]

a) used to describe the side of something that is closest to where you are:

the near bank of the river

b) British English used when talking about the parts of a vehicle to mean the one that is closest to the side of the road when you drive OPP off :

The headlight on the near side isn’t working.

⇨ ↑ nearly

—nearness noun [uncountable]

III. near 3 BrE AmE verb written

1 . [transitive] to come closer to a place SYN approach :

She began to feel nervous as she neared the house.

The ship was nearing the harbour.

2 . [transitive] to come closer to being in a particular state:

The work is nearing completion.

He’s 55 now, and nearing retirement.

3 . [transitive] to come closer to a particular time:

He was nearing the end of his stay in India.

4 . [intransitive] if a time nears, it gets closer and will come soon:

He got more and more nervous as the day of his departure neared.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.