9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[nahy] /naɪ/
near in space, time, or relation:
The time draws nigh.
nearly; almost; (often followed by on or onto):
nigh onto twenty years.
adjective, nigher, nighest.
near; approaching:
Evening is nigh.
short or direct:
to take the nighest route.
(of an animal or vehicle) being on the left side:
to be astride the nigh horse.
Archaic. parsimonious; stingy.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
Archaic. to approach.
Origin of nigh
before 900; Middle English nigh(e), neye, Old English nēah, nēh, cognate with Dutch na, German nahe, Old Norse nā-, Gothic nehw, nehwa; cf. near, next
Related forms
unnigh, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nigh
  • Tenure, in the humanities, for junior faculty is nigh on impossible to earn.
  • Understanding what is happening-at the level of detail that determines the actual outcome-is nigh impossible.
  • Every now and then a prominent religious zealot proclaims that the end is nigh.
  • Collaborating with co-workers in the same office is painful enough, but it's nigh impossible over a network.
  • They preached that the end of the world was nigh and only believers would be saved.
  • Imagining the end of the world is nigh makes us feel special.
  • For every nigh perfect set, there are dozens of blah boxes.
  • Given this background the successful election, in a huge country with little working infrastructure, was nigh miraculous.
  • Virtually all of them call for catastrophe or that the end that the of the world is nigh.
  • Use enough, and you can build something nigh indestructible.
British Dictionary definitions for nigh


adjective, adverb, preposition
an archaic, poetic, or dialect word for near
Word Origin
Old English nēah, nēh; related to German nah, Old Frisian nei. Compare near, next
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nigh

"near," Old English neah (West Saxon), neh (Anglian), common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon nah, Old Frisian nei, Middle Dutch, Dutch na, Old High German nah, German nah, Gothic nehwa), with no cognates outside Germanic. The Old English progression was neah - near - niehsta, for "nigh - near - next." But the comparative near and the superlative nehst (see next) gradually evolved into separate words not felt as related to nigh. New comparative and superlative forms nigher, nighest developed 14c. as phonetic changes obscured the original relationships. As an adjective from Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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