near ( nearer comparative) ( nearest superlative) ( nears 3rd person present) ( nearing present participle) ( neared past tense & past participle )
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.
Near is also an adverb., adv ADV after v, be ADV, oft ADV to n
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., adj ADJ n, the ADJ of n
He collapsed into the nearest chair..., Where's the nearest telephone?..., The nearer of the two barges was perhaps a mile away.
nearness n-uncount usu with poss
He was suddenly aware of his nearness.
2 prep-phrase 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.
Near means the same as near to., prep
He was near tears..., We are no nearer agreement now than in the past.
3 prep-phrase If something is similar to something else, you can say that it is near to it.
...a sickening sensation that was near to nausea.
Near means the same as near to., prep
Often her feelings were nearer hatred than love.
4 adj You describe the thing most similar to something as thenearest thing to it when there is no example of the thing itself.
the ADJ n to n, the ADJ to n
It would appear that the legal profession is the nearest thing to a recession-proof industry...
5 adv If a time or event draws near, it will happen soon.
WRITTEN ADV after v, be ADV
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..., 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.
...to increase manufacturing from about 2.5 million cars a year to nearer 4.75 million...
8 prep You can say that someone will not gonear a person or thing when you are emphasizing that they refuse to see them or go there.
with brd-neg (emphasis)
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 Thenear one of two things is the one that is closer.
det ADJ n (Antonym: far)
...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 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.
Near is also an adverb., adv ADV adj
...his near fatal accident two years ago...
11 adj In a contest, your nearest rival or challenger is the person or team that is most likely to defeat you.
That victory put the Ukrainians beyond the reach of their nearest challengers, Dynamo Moscow.
12 verb When you near a place, you get quite near to it.
LITERARY no passive
As he neared the stable, he slowed the horse and patted it on the neck... V n
13 verb When someone or something nears a particular stage or point, they will soon reach that stage or point.
His age was hard to guess<endash>he must have been nearing fifty... V n
The project is taking a long time but is now nearing completion. V n
14 verb You say that an important time or event nears when it is going to occur quite soon.
As half time neared, Hardyman almost scored twice... V
15 People sometimes refer to their close relatives and friends as their nearest and dearest.
one's nearest and dearest phrase
(=kith and kin)
...that English convention of not showing your feelings, even to your nearest and dearest.
16 You use near and far to indicate that you are referring to a very large area or distance.
near and far phrase
People would gather from near and far...
17 If you say that something will happen in the near future, you mean that it will happen quite soon.
in the near future phrase
The controversy regarding vitamin C is unlikely to be resolved in the near future.
18 You use nowhere near and not anywhere near to emphasize that something is not the case.
nowhere near/not anywhere near phrase usu PHR adj, PHR n (emphasis)
They are nowhere near good enough..., It was nowhere near as painful as David had expected...