Meaning of NEAR in English

I. adverb

Etymology: Middle English ner, nere, from Old English nēar — more at near II

obsolete : nearer

II. ˈni(ə)r, -iə adverb

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English ner, nere, partly from ner, nere nearer, from Old English nēar, comparative of nēah nigh; partly from Old Norse nær nearer, near, comp. of nā- near — more at nigh

1. : at, within, or to a short distance

don't shoot until they come near

or a short time

sunset was drawing near

getting nearer to the true explanation

2. : within little : almost , nearly

near exhausted by the heat

dark brown coming near to black

not near so many

came near to being the best speller in the class


a. : closely

copy it as near as you can

near -related terms

near -actual mock battle

b. : intimately

near allied unto the duke — Shakespeare

4. : thriftily , stingily

III. preposition

Etymology: Middle English ner, nere, from ner, nere adverb

: not far distant from especially in place, time, or degree : close to

bombs fell near the building

several beaches near the city

came home near midnight

seemed to be near death

was in a state near collapse

IV. adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English ner, nere, from ner, nere, adverb


a. : closely akin

near relative

b. : closely or intimately related or associated

near relations

near affairs

his nearest and dearest friend


a. : not far distant in time, place, or degree

in the near future

his nearest approach to success

: adjacent , nigh

saw only his nearest neighbors

hunting rabbits in the near fields

b. : that barely avoids, passes, or misses

near disaster

near miracle

: close , narrow

he won the match but it was a very near thing


a. : being the closer of two

near side of the mountain

— opposed to far

b. : being the left-hand one of a pair

near horse

near hind foot

near wheel of a cart

— opposed to off

4. : direct , short — used chiefly in the comparative or superlative

four miles by the nearest road

5. : closefisted , parsimonious , stingy


a. : closely resembling or following

a version very near the original

b. : approaching closely in extent or degree

near equivalent

the nearest thing to perfect happiness

c. : approximating the genuine

near silk

— often used in combination

near -antique

V. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: near (II)

intransitive verb

: to come closer in space or time

every year when the baseball season nears

transitive verb

: to draw near to : approach

ship was nearing the dock


variant of neer

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.