nearly

nearly
nearly, almost, approximately, well-nigh are comparable when they mean within a little of being, becoming, reaching, or sufficing. Their differences in meaning are often imperceptible.
However, nearly is suitable when mere proximity is implied
{

they are nearly at the end of their journey

}
{

it is nearly six o'clock

}
{

she was nearly hysterical with fright

}
Almost is more explicit when the emphasis is on a falling short or a deficiency
{

they had almost finished when they were interrupted

}
{

she is almost out of her mind with grief

}
{

the news is almost too good to be true

}
Approximately is an appropriate choice when the difference is of no practical importance and a reasonable approach to accuracy is implied
{

there were approximately 10,000 present

}
{

government meteorologists make approximately correct forecasts

}
Well-nigh often equals virtually
{

he is well-nigh mad

}
{

the difficulty of selecting the best of his short essays for a strictly limited space is well-nigh insuperable— Desmond MacCarthy

}

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • nearly — [nir′lē] adv. 1. almost; not quite; all but [nearly finished] 2. Now Rare closely; intimately [to be nearly related] 3. Archaic parsimoniously; stingily not nearly not at all; far from …   English World dictionary

  • nearly — ► ADVERB ▪ very close to; almost. ● not nearly Cf. ↑not nearly …   English terms dictionary

  • Nearly — Near ly, adv. In a near manner; not remotely; closely; intimately; almost; as, he nearly lost his life in the accident. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nearly — index almost Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • nearly — (adv.) 1530s, carefully; sense of almost, all but is from 1680s; see NEAR (Cf. near) + LY (Cf. ly) (2) …   Etymology dictionary

  • nearly — [adv] almost about, all but*, approaching, approximately, as good as*, circa*, close but no cigar*, closely, give or take a little*, in effect, in essence, in substance, in the ballpark*, in the neighborhood*, just about, more or less, most, much …   New thesaurus

  • nearly — [[t]nɪ͟ə(r)li[/t]] ♦♦ 1) ADV GRADED: ADV group, ADV before v Nearly is used to indicate that something is not quite the case, or not completely the case. Goldsworth stared at me in silence for nearly twenty seconds... Hunter knew nearly all of… …   English dictionary

  • nearly — near|ly [ nırli ] adverb *** 1. ) almost or near to a particular amount of time, money, people, or things: It took nearly six hours to download this software. They ve spent nearly four million dollars. Nearly 1,600 people were evacuated. nearly… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • nearly — adverb 1 especially BrE almost, but not quite or not completely: It took nearly two hours to get here. | Michelle s nearly twenty. | Is the job nearly finished? | He s nearly always right. | Louise is nearly as tall as her mother. | very nearly:… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • nearly — near|ly W1S1 [ˈnıəli US ˈnırli] adv 1.) especially BrE almost, but not quite or not completely = ↑almost ▪ It took nearly two hours to get here. ▪ Michelle s nearly twenty. ▪ Is the job nearly finished? ▪ Louise is nearly as tall as her mother. ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”