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nigh

[nahy] /naɪ/
adverb
1.
near in space, time, or relation:
The time draws nigh.
2.
nearly; almost; (often followed by on or onto):
nigh onto twenty years.
adjective, nigher, nighest.
3.
near; approaching:
Evening is nigh.
4.
short or direct:
to take the nighest route.
5.
(of an animal or vehicle) being on the left side:
to be astride the nigh horse.
6.
Archaic. parsimonious; stingy.
preposition
7.
near.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
8.
Archaic. to approach.
Origin
900
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for nighest

nigh

/naɪ/
adjective, adverb, preposition
1.
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 nighest
nigh
"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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