- 1In senses 1 to 4 near and nearer do not usually go before a noun;nearest can go either before or after a noun. a short distance away synonym close2 His house is very near. Where's the nearest bank? 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? Take a left at the next traffic light. Who’s next?(The)nearest means “closest” in space:Where’s the nearest grocery store? 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).
- 2a short time away in the future The conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the near future (= very soon).
- 3coming next after someone or something She has a 12-point lead over her nearest rival.
- 4 nearest similar; most similar He was the nearest thing to (= the person most like) a father she had ever had.
- 5[only before noun] (no comparative or superlative) close to being someone or something The election proved to be a near disaster for the party. a near impossibility
- 6near relative/relation used to describe a close family connection Only the nearest relatives were present at the funeral.
- noun [uncountable] the nearness of death Which Word?near / close The adjectives near and close are often the same in meaning, but in some phrases only one of them may be used:the near future a near neighbor a near miss a close contest a close encounter a close call. Close is more often used to describe a relationship between people:a close friend close family close links. You do not usually use near in this way.Idioms
adjectivejump to other results
nearnessjump to other results
your close family and friends
your nearest and dearest (informal)jump to other results
a situation in which you are successful, but which could also have ended badly Phew! That was a near thing! It could have been a disaster. We won in the end, but it was a near thing.
a near thingjump to other results
followed by a number when counting or measuring approximately We calculated the cost to the nearest 50 dollars.
to the nearest…jump to other results