Etymology
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near (adv.)

Old English near "closer, nearer," comparative of neah, neh"nigh." Partially by the influence of Old Norse naer "near," it came to be used in English as a positive form mid-13c., and new comparative nearer developed in the 1500s (see nigh). Originally an adverb but now supplanted in most such senses by nearly; it has in turn supplanted correct nigh as an adjective.

The adjectival use dates from c. 1300, "being close by, not distant;" from late 14c. as "closely related by kinship;" 1610s as "economical, parsimonious." Colloquial use for "so as to barely escape injury or danger" (as in a near thing, near miss) is by 1751. As a preposition, "close to, close by, near in space or time," from mid-13c. Related: Nearness. In near and dear (1620s) it refers to nearness of kinship. Near East is by 1894 (probably based on Far East). Near beer "low-alcoholic brew" is from 1908.

near (v.)

"to draw near, approach," 1510s, from near (adv.). Related: Neared; nearing.

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Definitions of near
1
near (adj.)
being on the left side;
the near or nigh horse is the one on the left
the animal's left side is its near or nigh side
Synonyms: nigh
near (adj.)
not far distant in time or space or degree or circumstances;
a very near thing
a near hit by the bomb
she was near tears
they are near equals
near neighbors
in the near future
Synonyms: close / nigh
near (adj.)
closely resembling the genuine article;
near beer
a dress of near satin
near (adj.)
giving or spending with reluctance;
very close (or near) with his money
Synonyms: cheeseparing / close / penny-pinching / skinny
near (adj.)
with or in a close or intimate relationship;
my sisters and brothers are near and dear
Synonyms: dear / good
near (adj.)
very close in resemblance;
a near likeness
Synonyms: approximate
2
near (adv.)
near in time or place or relationship;
stood near the door
getting near to the true explanation
her mother is always near
don't shoot until they come near
as the wedding day drew near
Synonyms: nigh / close
near (adv.)
(of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but;
I was near exhausted by the run
Synonyms: about / almost / most / nearly / nigh / virtually / well-nigh
3
near (v.)
move towards;
They are drawing near
Synonyms: approach / come on / go up / draw near / draw close / come near
From wordnet.princeton.edu