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.

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

unnigh, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nigh (naɪ)
adj, —adv, —prep
an archaic, poetic, or dialect word for near
[Old English nēah, nēh; related to German nah, Old Frisian nei. Compare near, next]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"near," O.E. neah (W.Saxon), neh (Anglian), common Gmc. (cf. O.Fris. nei, M.Du. na, O.H.G. nah, Ger. nah, Goth. nehwa), with no cognates outside Gmc. The O.E. progression was neah - near - niehsta, for "nigh - near - next." But the comp. near and the superl. nehst gradually evolved into separate words
not felt as related to nigh. New comp. and superl. forms, nigher, nighest, developed 1300s as phonetic changes obscured the original relationships.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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