Definition of near preposition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//nɪə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//nɪr//
    (also near to, nearer (to), nearest (to)) Near to is not usually used before the name of a place, person, festival, etc.
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  1. 1  at a short distance away from somebody/something Do you live near here? Go and sit nearer (to) the fire. Which Word?next / nearest (The) next means ‘after this/​that one’ in time or in a series of events, places or people:When is your next appointment? Turn left at the next traffic lights. Who’s next? (The) nearest means ‘closest’ in space:Where’s the nearest supermarket? Notice the difference between the prepositions nearest to and next to:Janet’s sitting nearest to the window (= of all the people in the room). Sarah’s sitting next to the window (= right beside it). In informal British English nearest can be used instead of nearest to:Who’s sitting nearest the door?
  2. 2  a short period of time from something My birthday is very near Christmas. I’ll think about it nearer (to) the time(= when it is just going to happen).
  3. 3  used before a number to mean ‘approximately’, ‘just below or above’ Share prices are near their record high of last year. Profits fell from $11 million to nearer $8 million.
  4. 4  similar to somebody/something in quality, size, etc. Nobody else comes near her in intellect. He's nearer 70 than 60. This colour is nearest (to) the original.
  5. 5  near (doing) something close to a particular state a state near (to) death She was near to tears (= almost crying). We came near to being killed.
  6. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old Norse nær ‘nearer’, comparative of , corresponding to Old English nēah ‘nigh’.Idioms close to you in time or distance Help was at hand. The property is ideally located with all local amenities close at hand.
    be close to/near the mark
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    to be fairly accurate in a guess, statement, etc. Such guesses are thought to be close to the mark. ‘The Times’ was nearer the mark when it said…
    close/dear/near to somebody’s heart
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    having a lot of importance and interest for somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: near