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near beer

any of several malt beverages that are similar to beer but are usually considered nonalcoholic because they have an alcoholic content of less than ½ percent.
Origin of near beer
An Americanism dating back to 1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Historical Examples
  • But more gigantic still is the well at Bovey, another Tudor house, near beer, which bears the reputation of being haunted.

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