Nearby words

  1. nigger of the narcissus, the,
  2. niggerhead,
  3. niggle,
  4. niggling,
  5. nigglingly,
  6. night,
  7. night and day,
  8. night blindness,
  9. night bolt,
  10. night coach

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 formsun·nigh, adjective

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Examples from the Web for nigh


British Dictionary definitions for nigh

nigh

adjective, adverb, preposition

an archaic, poetic, or dialect word for near

Word Origin for nigh

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

Word Origin and History for nigh

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