[ noh-hwair, -wair ]
/ ˈnoʊˌʰwɛər, -ˌwɛər /


in or at no place; not anywhere: The missing pen was nowhere to be found.
to no place: We went nowhere last weekend.


adjective Informal.

being or leading nowhere; pointless; futile: to be stuck in a nowhere job.
worthless or useless: That's a nowhere idea if I ever heard one.


    miles from nowhere, in a remote, isolated, or inaccessible area.
    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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for nowhere near


/ (ˈnəʊˌwɛə) /


in, at, or to no place; not anywhere
get nowhere or get nowhere fast informal to fail completely to make any progress
nowhere near far from; not nearly


a nonexistent or insignificant place
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 (1 of 2)

nowhere near

see under not anything like.

Idioms and Phrases with nowhere near (2 of 2)


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.