adverb very nearly but not completely: We've almost finished. | We stayed there for almost a week. | almost every: They sold almost everything. | almost all: Almost all the children here speak two languages. | an almost impossible task | wines which are almost as expensive as champagne | almost certainly: The cause is almost certainly a virus. USAGE NOTE: ALMOST WORD CHOICE: almost, nearly, hardly, scarcely, very, extremely Both almost and nearly can be used before words like all, every, and everybody: Almost/nearly all (of) my friends came to the party (NOT Almost of my friends came... or Almost my friends came...). Both can also be used before negative verbs: I almost/nearly didn't get up in time. However, you do not use not with hardly or scarcely:There was scarcely enough time to take a shower. Almost (NOT nearly) can be used before any and negative words like no, nobody, never, and nothing.Almost no one came to the party (NOT Nearly no one...). | You can find the meaning of almost any word here . However, it is more usual to use hardly or scarcely with any, anybody, ever etc than almost with no, nobody, never etc: For example, you are more likely to hear: Hardly anybody came to the party than: Almost no one came to the party. You can use not before nearly, but not usually before almost: She's not nearly as pretty as her sister (NOT She's not almost as pretty...). Both nearly and almost can be used with adjectives that have an extreme meaning: nearly/almost perfect/frozen/dead/impossible . However, they are not usually used with other, less extreme, adjectives. In these cases you are more likely to use very or extremely: The schools are extremely good there (NOT nearly good).| The coast was very rocky (NOT almost rocky). Nearly is more commonly used in British English, while almost is more common in American English.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • almost — • During the next week Morel s temper was almost unbearable D. H. Lawrence, 1913. Almost has a special role in diluting or ‘downgrading’ adjectives and adverbs that express an extreme, as if the user wants to keep the notion at arm s length or to …   Modern English usage

  • Almost — Al most ([add]l m[=o]st), adv. [AS. ealm[ae]st, [ae]lm[ae]st, quite the most, almost all; eal (OE. al) all + m?st most.] Nearly; well nigh; all but; for the greatest part. [1913 Webster] Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. Acts xxvi. 28 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • almost — I adverb approximately, close to, nearly, on the brink of, on the verge of, scarcely, within sight of II index approximate, quasi Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • almost as — index quasi Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • almost — (adv.) O.E. eallmæst nearly all, for the most part, lit. mostly all; see ALL (Cf. all) + MOST (Cf. most). Modern form from 15c …   Etymology dictionary

  • almost — *nearly, approximately, well nigh …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • almost — [adv] nearly, very nearly about, about to, all but, approximately, around, as good as, bordering on, close to, close upon, essentially, for all practical purposes, for the greatest part, in effect, in the neighborhood of, in the vicinity of, just …   New thesaurus

  • almost — ► ADVERB ▪ very nearly. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • almost — [ôl′mōst΄, ôl mōst′] adv. [OE eallmæst: see ALL & MOST] very nearly but not completely; all but …   English World dictionary

  • almost — al|most [ ɔlmoust ] adverb *** nearly but not completely: Are you ready? Almost! I m just putting my shoes on. It s almost a year since she died. The baby s almost walking now. almost all: Almost all of the students here are from South America.… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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