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90s Slang You Should Know


[nahy] /naɪ/
near in space, time, or relation:
The time draws nigh.
nearly; almost; (often followed by on or onto):
nigh onto twenty years.
adjective, nigher, nighest.
near; approaching:
Evening is nigh.
short or direct:
to take the nighest route.
(of an animal or vehicle) being on the left side:
to be astride the nigh horse.
Archaic. parsimonious; stingy.
verb (used with or without object)
Archaic. to approach.
Origin of nigh
before 900; Middle English nigh(e), neye, Old English nēah, nēh, cognate with Dutch na, German nahe, Old Norse nā-, Gothic nehw, nehwa; cf. near, next
Related forms
unnigh, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nigh
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There comes a crash like unto that the end of the world is nigh!

    The Motor Boys in Mexico Clarence Young
  • Those who have wished from nigh and far to study the religion, may now do so.

  • No, it's nigh onto a mile, I didn't measure it, but it's a mighty big three-quarters.

    The Graysons Edward Eggleston
  • But he's ready to hand over the hundred, her being so nigh come to age.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Hast thou lived to nigh forty years, to be hurt like a boy by a woman's inconstancy?

    Sir Christopher Maud Wilder Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for nigh


adjective, adverb, preposition
an archaic, poetic, or dialect word for near
Word Origin
Old English nēah, nēh; related to German nah, Old Frisian nei. Compare near, next
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nigh

"near," Old English neah (West Saxon), neh (Anglian), common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon nah, Old Frisian nei, Middle Dutch, Dutch na, Old High German nah, German nah, Gothic nehwa), with no cognates outside Germanic. The Old English progression was neah - near - niehsta, for "nigh - near - next." But the comparative near and the superlative nehst (see next) gradually evolved into separate words not felt as related to nigh. New comparative and superlative forms nigher, nighest developed 14c. as phonetic changes obscured the original relationships. As an adjective from Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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