General English


  • noun
    (written as NEAR)
    a binary operator used in searches of computer text that returns true if it finds two words within a specified distance of each other within the text, and false otherwise


  • acronym forNear Earth Asteroid Rendezvous
    (written as NEAR)

Origin & History of “near”

Historically, near is a comparative form, and its ancestor originally meant ‘nearer’. It was borrowed from Old Norse náer, the comparative of - ‘near’, which came from the same prehistoric Germanic source as produced English nigh (OE) and next (not to mention German nah ‘near’). By the time it reached English it had lost its comparative force, and simply meant ‘close’ (which is also the sense of its modern Scandinavian descendants, Swedish nära and Danish nær).