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



    BrE BrE//nɪə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//nɪr//
    (nearer, nearest) In senses 1 to 4 near and nearer do not usually go before a noun; nearest can go either before or after a noun. Family background
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  1. 1  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? 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 time away in the future The conflict is unlikely to be resolved in the near future (= very soon).
  3. 3  coming next after somebody/something She has a 12-point lead over her nearest rival.
  4. 4  (also nearest) similar; most similar He was the nearest thing to (= the person most like) a father she had ever had. see also o.n.o.
  5. 5  [only before noun] (no comparative or superlative) close to being somebody/something The election proved to be a near disaster for the party. a near impossibility She spoke in a near whisper. The climbers had already had one near miss on the summit. 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 neighbour 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.
  6. 6  near relative/relation used to describe a close family connection Only the nearest relatives were present at the funeral. See related entries: Family background
  7. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old Norse nær ‘nearer’, comparative of , corresponding to Old English nēah ‘nigh’.Idioms
    your nearest and dearest
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    (informal) your close family and friends
    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. followed by a number when counting or measuring approximately We calculated the cost to the nearest 50 dollars.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: near