1 adverb, preposition
1 only a short distance from a person or thing: Bob was standing near enough to hear what they said. | Why don't you move your chair nearer mine? | near to: Don't sit too near to the screen. | go/come/get etc near (=to move near someone or something): Don't come any nearer - I have a gun. | As the car drew nearer I realised the man was a stranger.
2 come/be near (to) sth to almost do something or almost be in a particular state: She had what came near to a perfect singing voice. | come/be near (to) tears/death etc: Sarah was trembling, and near to tears. | come/be near to doing sth: Samuel came very near to rejecting the award before accepting graciously.
3 soon before a particular time or event: Near the day of the wedding she started to have second thoughts.
(+ to): Remind me nearer the time of the meeting. | draw near: As my birthday drew near, I began to dread being fifty.
4 near perfect/impossible etc almost perfect etc: The dye left a near transparent liquid on the surface of her skin.
5 (as) near as dammit BrE spoken used to say that something is very nearly true or correct: The repairs will cost us -1000, as near as dammit.
2 adjective
1 only a short distance away from someone or something: It's a beautiful house but it's 20 miles away from the nearest town. | We can meet at the pub or in the restaurant, whichever's nearer for you.
(+ to): Of course I've heard of the Littleton sports centre - it's near to my college.
2 if something is near something else, it is similar to it
(+to): It seems that his diaries are as near to the truth as we'll ever get. | Hyde Park is the nearest thing we have to the countryside round here. | It may not be an exact replica but it's pretty damn near.
3 a near disaster/collapse etc almost a disaster, a collapse etc: The factory has seen a near doubling of it's output this year alone.
4 be a near thing
a) if something you succeed in doing is a near thing, you manage to succeed but you nearly failed: They won the championship, but it was a near thing.
b) used to say that you just managed to avoid a dangerous or unpleasant situation: That was a near thing - that truck was heading straight for us.
5 be a near miss if a bomb, shot etc is a near miss it seemed as if it would hit something but did not
6 in the near future soon: They promised to contact us again some time in the near future.
7 to the nearest -10/hundred etc an amount to the nearest -10, hundred etc is the number nearest to it that can be divided by -10, a hundred etc: Give me the car mileage to the nearest thousand.
a) near relative/relation a relative who is very closely related to you such as a parent: You are only allowed time off if the funeral is for a near relative.
b) sb's nearest and dearest humorous someone's family
9 (only before a noun, no comparative)
a) used to describe the side of something that is closest to where you are: the near bank of the river
b) used when talking about the wheels on a vehicle to mean the one on the left side: the near wheel of a car
—opposite off 3 (3) —see also: nearly, nowhere near nowhere (4) — nearness noun (U) 3 verb
1 (T) to come closer to a particular place, time, or state; approach 1: Work is nearing completion. | The ship was nearing harbour.
2 (I) if a time nears, it gets closer and will come soon: He got more and more nervous as the day of his departure neared.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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