Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective, adverb, preposition near pronunciation in British English /nɪə(r)/
Near can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition: I lived near the school.I'll write and let you know nearer the time.
as an adverb: Come nearer, and I'll tell you the whole story.
as an adjective: I went into the nearest room.A climb in the mountains led to near disaster.
in the preposition phrase near to: Pull your chair nearer to the table.
  1. 1
    close to someone or something

    A group of students were standing near the entrance.

    The tornado destroyed two houses near Tulsa.

    The shops are quite near.

    I slept in the bed nearest the door.

    They live in a small cottage 15 miles from the nearest village.

    near to:

    Rosa moved a little nearer to the fire.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of near
    1. a.
      used for referring to the side of something that is the closest to where you are

      I got into the near side of the bed.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of near
    See also  nearside
  2. 2
    getting close to a particular state or situation
    near to:

    Julian was near to panic as he suddenly realized that he was trapped.

    People near to retirement need to know their pension funds are sufficient.

    near to doing something:

    They are near to solving the puzzle.

    There were rumours that the 66-year-old leader was near death.

  3. 3
    not long before a particular time or event

    It was nearer three than two o'clock when he finally arrived.

    I had no intention of making any decision until much nearer the time.

    The incident occurred near the end of the war.

    draw near:

    The date of the election was drawing near.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of near
  4. 4
    very similar to something

    What he's saying now is near the truth, but it's still not accurate.

    near to:

    My feelings were nearer to despair than disappointment.

  5. 5
    only a little less than a particular amount or number

    The temperature that day was near 30 degrees.

    The loss was near 15 per cent for the year.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of near


derived word


noun [uncountable]

There was a lot of mist around because of the garden's nearness to the river.


web content which is specifically intended to make Facebook users click the 'Like' button associated with it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog