See more synonyms for near on
adverb, near·er, near·est.
  1. close; to a point or place not far away: Come near so I won't have to shout.
  2. at, within, or to a short distance.
  3. close in time: The New Year draws near.
  4. close in relation; closely with respect to connection, similarity, intimacy, etc. (often used in combination): a near-standing position.
  5. all but; almost; nearly: a period of near 30 years.
  6. Nautical. close to the wind.
  7. Archaic. in a thrifty or stingy manner.
adjective, near·er, near·est.
  1. being close by; not distant: the near fields.
  2. being the lesser in distance: the near side.
  3. short or direct: the near road.
  4. close in time: the near future.
  5. closely related or connected: our nearest relatives.
  6. close to an original: a near translation.
  7. closely affecting one's interests or feelings: a matter of near consequence to one.
  8. intimate or familiar: a near friend.
  9. narrow or close: a near escape.
  10. thrifty or stingy: near with one's pocketbook.
  11. (of two draft animals hitched together) being on the driver's left (as opposed to off): The near horse is going lame.
  1. at, to, or within a short distance, or no great distance, from or of: regions near the equator.
  2. close to in time: near the beginning of the year.
  3. close to a condition or state: He is near death.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to come or draw near; approach: The boat neared the dock. Storm clouds neared.
  1. near at hand,
    1. in the immediate vicinity: There is a shopping area near at hand.
    2. in the near future; soon: The departure is near at hand.

Origin of near

before 900; Middle English nere, Old English nēar, comparative of nēah nigh
Related formsnear·ness, nouno·ver·near, adjective, adverbo·ver·near·ness, noun

Synonyms for near

See more synonyms for on
11. imminent, impending, approaching. 17. tight, miserly.

Antonyms for near

1, 2, 8–11, 18. far. 17. generous. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nearest

Contemporary Examples of nearest

Historical Examples of nearest

British Dictionary definitions for nearest


  1. at or to a place or time not far away from; close to
  1. at or to a place or time not far away; close by
  2. near to not far from; near
  3. short for nearly I was damn near killed
  1. at or in a place not far away
  2. (postpositive) not far away in time; imminentdeparture time was near
  3. (prenominal) only just successful or only just failinga near escape
  4. (postpositive) informal miserly, mean
  5. (prenominal) closely connected or intimatea near relation
  1. to come or draw close (to)
  1. Also called: nearside
    1. the left side of a horse, team of animals, vehicle, etc
    2. (as modifier)the near foreleg
Derived Formsnearness, noun

Word Origin for near

Old English nēar (adv), comparative of nēah close, nigh; related to Old Frisian niār, Old Norse nǣr, Old High German nāhōr
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

Word Origin and History for nearest



Old English near "closer, nearer," comparative of neah, neh"nigh." Influenced by Old Norse naer "near," it came to be used as a positive form mid-13c., and new comparative nearer developed 1500s (see nigh). As an adjective from c.1300. Originally an adverb but now supplanted in most such senses by nearly; it has in turn supplanted correct nigh as an adjective. Related: Nearness. In near and dear (1620s) it refers to nearness of kinship. Near East first attested 1891, in Kipling. Near beer "low-alcoholic brew" is from 1908.



"to draw near," 1510s, from near (adv.). Related: Neared; nearing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with nearest


In addition to the idioms beginning with near

  • near at hand
  • near miss
  • near thing
  • near to one's heart

also see:

  • far and near
  • in the near future
  • not anything like (anywhere near)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.