Did you know?

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

near - definition and synonyms


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.

verb near pronunciation in British English /nɪə(r)/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlenearing
past tenseneared
past participleneared
  1. 1
    [transitive] to come closer to a particular place

    I woke up as the train neared the station.

    1. a.
      to come closer to a particular time or stage

      He was nearing 60.

      Months of negotiations between the two parties neared an end on Wednesday.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] if a time or event nears, it gets closer


used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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
Macmillan learn live love play