nearer, nearest, nears, nearing, neared
1) PREP If something is near a place, thing, or person, it is a short distance from them.

Don't come near me...

Her children went back every year to stay in a farmhouse near the cottage...

He drew his chair nearer the fire...

Some of the houses nearest the bridge were on fire.

Derived words:
nearness N-UNCOUNT usu with poss

He was suddenly aware of his nearness.

ADV-GRADED: ADV after v, be ADV, oft ADV to n
Near is also an adverb.

He crouched as near to the door as he could... She took a step nearer to the barrier... As we drew near, I saw that the boot lid was up.

Near is also an adjective.

He collapsed into the nearest chair... Where's the nearest telephone?... He went back into the bedroom, slipped into the nearer bed, and said goodnight... The nearer of the two barges was perhaps a mile away.

2) PHR-PREP: PREP n/-ing If someone or something is near to a particular state, they have almost reached it.

After the war, The House of Hardie came near to bankruptcy...

The repairs to the Hafner machine were near to completion...

Apart from anything else, he comes near to contradicting himself.

close to
Near means the same as near to.

He was near tears... For almost a month he lay near death... We are no nearer agreement now than in the past.

3) PHR-PREP If something is similar to something else, you can say that it is near to it.

It combined with the resinous cedar smell of the logs to produce a sickening sensation that was near to nausea.

Near means the same as near to.

Often her feelings were nearer hatred than love.

4) ADJ-SUPERL: the ADJ n to n, the ADJ to n You describe the thing most similar to something as the nearest thing to it when there is no example of the thing itself.

It would appear that the legal profession is the nearest thing to a recession-proof industry...

He is the nearest to a dead cert that Britain has in Albertville.

5) ADV-GRADED: ADV after v, be ADV If a time or event draws near, it will happen soon. [WRITTEN]

The time for my departure from Japan was drawing nearer every day.

6) PREP If something happens near a particular time, it happens just before or just after that time.

Performance is lowest between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m, and reaches a peak near midday...

`Since I retired to this place,' he wrote near the end of his life, `I have never been out of these mountains.'...

I'll tell you nearer the day.

7) PREP You use near to say that something is a little more or less than an amount or number stated. increase manufacturing from about 2.5 million cars a year to nearer 4.75 million...

The pound, which ended last year near its annual low, is expected to come under renewed pressure today.

8) PREP: with brd-neg (emphasis) You can say that someone will not go near a person or thing when you are emphasizing that they refuse to see them or go there.

He will absolutely not go near a hospital...

I'm so annoyed with her that I haven't been near her for a week.

9) ADJ-GRADED: det ADJ n The near one of two things is the one that is closer.

...a mighty beech tree on the near side of the little clearing...

Jane put one foot in the near stirrup and turned to look at the stranger.

10) ADJ: ADJ n You use near to indicate that something is almost the thing mentioned.

She was believed to have died in near poverty on the French Riviera.

...the 48-year-old who was brought in to rescue the bank from near collapse.

ADV: ADV adj
Near is also an adverb.

...his near fatal accident two years ago... The picture beneath was near lifesize.

11) ADJ-SUPERL: ADJ n In a contest, your nearest rival or challenger is the person or team that is most likely to defeat you.

He completed the lengthy course some three seconds faster than his nearest rival, Jonathon Ford...

That victory put the Ukrainians beyond the reach of their nearest challengers, Dynamo Moscow.

12) VERB: no passive When you near a place, you get quite near to it. [LITERARY]

[V n] As he neared the stable, he slowed the horse and patted it on the neck...

[V n] We were nearing the top of the pass to Tsagochen Thang when the van spluttered and died.

13) VERB: no passive When someone or something nears a particular stage or point, they will soon reach that stage or point.

[V n] His age was hard to guess - he must have been nearing fifty...

[V n] You are nearing the end of your training and you haven't attempted any assessments yet...

[V n] The project is taking a long time but is now nearing completion.

14) VERB You say that an important time or event nears when it is going to occur quite soon. [LITERARY]

As half time neared, Hardyman almost scored twice...

This factor will come increasingly to the fore as election day nears.

15) PHRASE People sometimes refer to their close relatives and friends as their nearest and dearest.

...that English convention of not showing your feelings, even to your nearest and dearest.

16) PHRASE You use near and far to indicate that you are referring to a very large area or distance.

People would gather from near and far...

Within months his reputation spread near and far.

17) PHRASE If you say that something will happen in the near future, you mean that it will happen quite soon.

The controversy regarding vitamin C is unlikely to be resolved in the near future.

18) PHRASE: usu PHR adj, PHR n (emphasis) You use nowhere near and not anywhere near to emphasize that something is not the case.

They are nowhere near good enough...

It was nowhere near as painful as David had expected...

The state pension is nowhere near enough.

not nearly
19) PHRASE If you want to indicate that something is almost true, you can use the expressions near enough and damned near. In British English, you can also say as near as dammit. [INFORMAL]

I bought them for a pound apiece, near enough...

They are as near as dammit new...

As a second lieutenant, he had to salute damned near everybody.

20) PHRASE: PHR before v If you want to indicate that something almost happened, you can use the expression damned near. In British English, you can also say as near as dammit. [INFORMAL]

He damned near fooled me...

As he was to tell Miranda later, he as near as dammit left it there.

English dictionary. 2008.


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