Etymology
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next (adj.)

"nearest in place, position, rank, or turn," Middle English nexte, from Old English niehsta, nyhsta (West Saxon), nesta (Anglian) "nearest in position or distance, closest in kinship," superlative of neah (West Saxon), neh (Anglian) "nigh;" from Proto-Germanic *nekh- "near" + superlative suffix *-istaz. Cognate with Old Norse næstr, Dutch naast "next," Old High German nahisto "neighbor," German nächst "next."

In reference to time by c. 1200. Adverbial ("next to, immediately after; almost, within a little of") and prepositional ("nearest to, immediately adjacent to") uses are from c. 1200. Phrase the next man "a typical person" is from 1857. Next-best "second best" is by 1670s.

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next-door (adv.)

also nextdoor, "in or at the next house," 1570s, from noun phrase next door "nearest or adjoining house" (late 15c.), from next + door. As an adjective from 1660s. Noun meaning "the people living next door" is from 1855. Middle English dwellen at dores (late 14c.) meant "live next door."

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anext (adv.)
"next to," c. 1400, from a- (1) + next.
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nigh (adv.)

"near, nearby, close together, adjacent," Middle English neigh, from Old English neah (West Saxon, Kentish), neh (Anglian), from Proto-Germanic *naehwa- (source also of Old Saxon nah, Old Frisian nei, Middle Dutch, Dutch na, Old High German nah, German nah, Gothic nehwa), of uncertain origin, with no cognates outside Germanic. The Old English progression was neah - near - niehsta, for "nigh - nigher - nighest." But the comparative near and the superlative nehst (see next) gradually evolved into separate words that were no longer felt as related to nigh. New comparative and superlative forms nigher, nighest developed 14c. as phonetic changes obscured the original relationships. As an adjective and preposition in Middle English.

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proximate (adj.)

1590s (implied in proximately), "closely neighboring; next, immediate, without intervention of a third," from Late Latin proximatus, past participle of proximare "to draw near, approach," from proximus "nearest, next; most direct; adjoining," figuratively "latest, most recent; next, following; most faithful," superlative of prope "near" (see propinquity). Meaning "coming next in a chain of causation" is by 1660s. Related: Proximately.

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proximal (adj.)

1727, "nearest, next," from Latin proximus "nearest, next" (see proximity) + -al (1). In biological sciences, "situated near the center of the body," 1803, opposed to distal or extremital. Related: Proximally.

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proximity (n.)

"nearness in place, time, or relation," late 15c., proxymyte [Caxton], from French proximité "nearness" (14c.), from Latin proximitatem (nominative proximitas) "nearness, vicinity," from proximus "nearest, next; most direct; adjoining," figuratively "latest, most recent; next, following; most faithful," superlative of prope "near" (see propinquity).

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proximo 

in correspondence, etc., "in or of the next or coming month," noting a day in the coming month (proximo mense), Latin ablative singular of proximus "nearest, next" (see proximate). Often abbreviated prox. Compare ultimo, instant (adj.).

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penultima (n.)

"last syllable but one of a word or verse, a penult," 1580s, from Latin pænultima (syllaba), "the next to the last syllable of a word or verse," from fem. of Latin adjective pænultimus "next-to-last," from pæne "almost" (a word of uncertain origin) + ultimus "final" (see ultimate).

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major-general (n.)

"military officer next in rank below a lieutenant-general," 1640s; see major (n.) + general (n.).

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