Definition of “near” - English Dictionary

“near” in British English

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nearadverb, preposition

uk /nɪər/ us /nɪr/

A1 not far away in distance:

Is there a restaurant near here?
I'd like to sit near a window, please.
Don't come too near me - you might catch my cold.
The hotel is near the airport.
Which bus stop is nearest (to) your house?
I was standing just near enough to hear what they were saying.

B2 not far away in time:

As the date of his operation drew near, he became more and more anxious.
UK We can decide which route to take nearer the time.

C2 almost in a particular state, or condition:

UK I was near (to) tears (= almost cried) at one point during the film.
nowhere near

C1 not close in distance, time, amount, or quality:

The house was nowhere near the beach.
It's nowhere near time for us to leave yet.
I'm nowhere near finishing the book - I'm only half-way through it.
He's nowhere near as tall as his sister.
near enough mainly UK informal


They're the same age or near enough.

More examples

  • Several small streams feed into the river near here.
  • If we sit near the front of the bus, we'll have a better view.
  • The car was parked near a small group of trees.
  • Concentrations of troops near the border look set to invade within the next few days.
  • He stood near the front to get a better view.


nearadjective [ before noun ]

uk /nɪər/ us /nɪr/

B1 not far away in distance, time, characteristics, or quality:

Where's the nearest post office?
My pocket knife is the nearest thing (= the most similar thing) to a weapon that I have.
I couldn't get any cream cheese so I bought the nearest equivalent (= the most similar thing) that I could find.

UK Your near relatives are people who are closely related to you, such as your parents, brothers, or sisters.

in the near future

B2 at a time that is not far away:

All our computer equipment will be replaced in the near future.

More examples

  • This curtain ring is the nearest thing I have to a wedding ring.
  • We only invited our near relations to the wedding.
  • I directed her to the nearest library.
  • The nearest shop is five miles away.
  • What's the nearest equivalent to silk?
noun [ U ] uk /ˈnɪə.nəs/ us /ˈnɪr.nəs/

I bought my house because of its nearness to the place I work.

nearverb [ I or T ]

uk /nɪər/ us /nɪr/


uk /nɪər-/ us /nɪr-/

(Definition of “near” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“near” in American English

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us /nɪər/ also near to, /ˈnɪər tə, tu/

close to; not far away from in distance, time, or relationship:

We live near the school.
She asked to sit nearer the front of the classroom.
It will probably be near midnight by the time we get home.
We couldn’t park anywhere near the theater.

nearadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /nɪər/

not far away in distance, time, or relationship:

in the near future
The nearest library is in the next town.
noun [ U ] us /ˈnɪər·nəs/

I’m surprised by the nearness of her.

nearadverb [ -er/-est only ]

us /nɪər/

not far away in distance, time, or relationship:

I wish we lived nearer.
I was standing near enough to hear what they were saying.

nearverb [ I/T ]

us /nɪər/

to come closer to something, or to approach:

[ I ] As the big day nears, I’m starting to get nervous.
[ T ] The project is nearing completion.

(Definition of “near” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)