Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to near

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.

Advertisement
anear (adv.)
"nearly," c. 1600, from a- (1) + near (adv.). Meaning "close by" (opposite of afar) is from 1798. As a preposition, "near to," 1732.
nearby (adv.)

also near-by, "close at hand, not far off," late 14c., from near (adv.) + by (adv.). As a preposition from mid-15c.; as an adjective by 1858. Middle English also had ner-honde "near-hand; near in space or time" (c. 1300).

nearly (adv.)

1530s, "carefully," 1570s, "close at hand, in close proximity;" see near + -ly (2). Meaning "almost, all but, within a little of" is from 1680s.

near-sighted (adj.)

also nearsighted, "seeing distinctly at a short distance only," 1680s, from near + sight. Figurative use is by 1856. Related: Nearsightedly; nearsightedness.