9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[neer-lee] /ˈnɪər li/
all but; almost:
nearly dead with cold.
with close approximation:
a nearly perfect likeness.
with close agreement or resemblance:
a plan nearly like our own.
with close kinship, interest, or connection; intimately:
nearly associated in business; two women nearly related.
Origin of nearly
1530-40; near + -ly
1. See almost. 4. closely. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nearly
  • Put into a preserving kettle, and add enough water to nearly cover.
  • Lobsters taste nearly the same when placed in dripping-pan and baked fifteen minutes in hot oven, and are much easier cooked.
  • Where the second or third stands alone, it is nearly always wrong.
  • Add one and three-fourths cups tomatoes, and cook until moisture has nearly evaporated.
  • Fruit and vegetables should be fresh, free from decay, and as nearly uniform in shape and state of ripeness as is possible.
  • We had made nearly sixteen kilometres in a direction slightly east of north.
  • They were nearly all of them forms related to the newts of to-day, and some of them attained a considerable size.
  • Each is directed across the crus of the diaphragm, so as to form nearly a right angle with the aorta.
  • The nerves which form it are nearly equal in size, but their mode of communication is subject to some variation.
  • Over our lifetime nearly one half of us suffer from such disorders.
British Dictionary definitions for nearly


not quite; almost; practically
not nearly, nowhere near; not at all: not nearly enough money
closely: the person most nearly concerned
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 nearly

1530s, "carefully;" sense of "almost, all but" is from 1680s; see near + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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