Definition of almost adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈɔːlməʊst//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɔːlmoʊst//
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not quite synonym nearly I like almost all of them. It's a mistake they almost always make. The story is almost certainly false. It's almost time to go. Dinner's almost ready. He slipped and almost fell. Their house is almost opposite ours. They'll eat almost anything. Almost no one (= hardly anyone) believed him. Which Word?almost / nearly / practicallyThese three words have similar meanings and are used frequently with the following words: almost certainly/​all/​every/​entirely/​impossible/​empty nearly (numbers)/all/​always/​every/​finished/​died practically all/​every/​no/​nothing/​impossible/​anything They are used in positive sentences:She almost/​nearly/​practically missed her train. They can be used before words like all, every and everybody:Nearly all the students have bikes. I’ve got practically every CD they’ve made. Practically is used more in spoken than in written English. Nearly is the most common with numbers:There were nearly 200 people at the meeting. They can also be used in negative sentences but it is more common to make a positive sentence with only just:We only just got there in time. (or:We almost/​nearly didn’t get there in time.) Almost and practically can be used before words like any, anybody, anything, etc:I’ll eat almost anything. You can also use them before no, nobody, never, etc. but it is much more common to use hardly or scarcely with any, anybody, ever, etc:She’s hardly ever in (or:She’s almost never in). Almost can be used when you are saying that one thing is similar to another:The boat looked almost like a toy. In British English you can use very and so before nearly:He was very nearly caught. note at hardly Word OriginOld English æl mǣst ‘for the most part’, a composite of all and most.Extra examples Dinner’s almost ready. His voice was almost inaudible. It’s a mistake they almost always make. It’s almost time to go. The castle is almost entirely surrounded by water. The two brothers are almost inseparable.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: almost

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