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nigh

[nahy] /naɪ/
adverb
1.
near in space, time, or relation:
The time draws nigh.
2.
nearly; almost; (often followed by on or onto):
nigh onto twenty years.
adjective, nigher, nighest.
3.
near; approaching:
Evening is nigh.
4.
short or direct:
to take the nighest route.
5.
(of an animal or vehicle) being on the left side:
to be astride the nigh horse.
6.
Archaic. parsimonious; stingy.
preposition
7.
near.
verb (used with or without object)
8.
Archaic. to approach.
Origin of nigh
900
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for nigher
Historical Examples
  • I saw it pass yesterday, but myself I guessed that thou wouldst be nigher to the mountain, and came this way, and found thee.

    Maiwa's Revenge H. Rider Haggard
  • It's nigher fifty years since I used to sell clocks, hereabouts.

  • The tone was angry and imperious on both sides, and, in intense eagerness, O'Shea drew nigher and nigher.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • Twenty years ago got nigher and nigher to yesterday, with every fresh thing belonging to her that I laid a hand on.

    Hide and Seek Wilkie Collins
  • My pappy was sol' as a twelve year old, but he always said he was nigher twenty.

  • The nigher the vessel came, the more Theseus wondered what this immense giant could be, and whether it actually had life or no.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • I did hear tell of him over to Pebbleridge; but not likely, so nigh to his own mother, and never come no nigher.

    Springhaven R. D. Blackmore
  • It seems to me that she might, by merely sitting quietly at his side, saying little and looking less, get nigher his heart.

    Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
  • The nigher the view of him, the more beautiful he was, and the more marvellous the sweep of his silvery wings.

  • The night remained clear and calm, and happiness itself came nigher and nigher unto him.

    Thus Spake Zarathustra Friedrich Nietzsche
British Dictionary definitions for nigher

nigh

/naɪ/
adjective, adverb, preposition
1.
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 nigher

nigh

adv.

"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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10
11
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