American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adv. Almost but not quite: The coat nearly fits.
- adv. In a close manner; intimately: a matter nearly affecting our interests.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Close at hand; in close proximity; at no great distance; hence, narrowly; with close scrutiny.
- Closely: as, two persons nearly related.
- Intimately; pressingly; with a close relation to one's interest or happiness.
- Within a little of; almost: as, nearly twenty; the prisoner nearly escaped; nearly dead with cold.
- With niggardliness or parsimony.
- Exactly; precisely.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adv. In a near manner; not remotely; closely; intimately; almost.
- adv. (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
- adv. in a close manner
- near + -ly (Wiktionary)
“In _A. frostiana_ and the pale forms of the species the spores are nearly globose or oval, rarely with a tendency to become elliptical, but _the content is quite constantly finely granular_, while the spores of _A. cothurnata_ are perhaps more constantly globose or nearly so, but the spore is _nearly filled with a highly refractive oil globule or "nucleus.”
“You fancy, perhaps, I have not got a friend, and you are nearly right -- _nearly_, but not altogether.”
“With a perfectly good conductor and a good battery, nearly all the electricity is passed, i.e. _nearly all_ the chemical power becomes transferable, even with a single pair of plates (807.).”
“Here is a fact, which I this very minute take from the mouth of a young coloured man, who has been to school in this state (Massachusetts) nearly nine years, and who knows grammar this day, _nearly_ as well as he did the day he first entered the school-house, under a white master.”
“In sentencing Andrew Warren, 43, to a term nearly double what was recommended under federal guidelines, U.S. District Judge Ellen S.”
“The shock of hearing her name nearly made her lose her balance, but she kept on going.”
“Speaking the name nearly made her shudder but she persisted.”
“Trouble is, she can't say how without giving away the film's secret, and nor can we even though the title nearly gives it away.”
“With his term nearly over, President Bush pardoned 14 people today.”
“She closed her eyes, savoring every atom of flavor, letting it melt on her tongue and trickle leisurely down her throat, an expression nearly orgasmic on her mapped and storied face.”
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