[noh-hwair, -wair]
  1. in or at no place; not anywhere: The missing pen was nowhere to be found.
  2. to no place: We went nowhere last weekend.
  1. the state of nonexistence or seeming nonexistence: A gang of thieves appeared from nowhere.
  2. anonymity or obscurity: She came from nowhere to win the championship.
  3. an unknown, remote, or nonexistent place or region.
adjective Informal.
  1. being or leading nowhere; pointless; futile: to be stuck in a nowhere job.
  2. worthless or useless: That's a nowhere idea if I ever heard one.
  1. miles from nowhere, in a remote, isolated, or inaccessible area.
  2. nowhere near, not nearly: There's nowhere near enough food to go around.

Origin of nowhere

before 1000; Middle English (adv.); Old English nāhwǣr, nōhwǣr. See no1, where

Usage note Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for nowhere near


  1. in, at, or to no place; not anywhere
  2. get nowhere or get nowhere fast informal to fail completely to make any progress
  3. nowhere near far from; not nearly
  1. a nonexistent or insignificant place
  2. middle of nowhere a completely isolated, featureless, or insignificant place
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 nowhere near



Old English nahwær "nowhere, not at all;" see no + where. Similar constructions were attempted with nowhat (1520s) and nowhen (1764), but they failed to take hold and remain nonce words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with nowhere near

nowhere near

see under not anything like.


In addition to the idiom beginning with nowhere

  • nowhere near

also see:

  • get nowhere
  • in the middle (of nowhere)
  • out of nowhere
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.