Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Almost but not quite.
  • adverb In a close manner; intimately.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb In a near manner; not remotely; closely; intimately; almost.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb almost, but not quite; slightly short of
  • adverb intimately; closely

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
  • adverb in a close manner

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

near +‎ -ly

Examples

Comments

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  • We had nearly 40 show up last night for the reception

    November 6, 2008