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 (ôl′mōst′, ôl-mōst′)
Slightly short of; not quite; nearly: almost time to go; was almost asleep; had almost finished. See Usage Note at none.

[Middle English, from Old English ealmǣst : eall, all; see all + mǣst, most; see most.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


little short of being; very nearly
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɔl moʊst, ɔlˈmoʊst)

very nearly; all but: almost every house; to pay almost nothing for a car.
[before 1000; Middle English; Old English (e)almāst, variant of æl mǣst; see all, most]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. when you can use 'almost' or 'nearly'

Almost and nearly both mean 'not completely' or 'not quite'. They can be used in front of adjectives or noun phrases, or with verbs.

Dinner is almost ready.
We're nearly ready now.
I spent almost a month in China.
He worked there for nearly five years.
Jenny almost fainted.
He nearly died.

Almost and nearly can also be used in front of some time adverbials such as every morning and every day, and in front of some place adverbials such as there.

We go swimming almost every evening.
I drive to work nearly every day.
We are almost there.
I think we are nearly there.

If it is almost or nearly a particular time, it will be that time soon.

It was almost 10 p.m.
It's nearly dinner-time.
2. when you use 'almost'

Don't use 'nearly' in front of adverbs ending in '-ly'. You should use almost in front of these adverbs.

She said it almost angrily.
Your boss is almost certainly there.

You can say that one thing is almost like another. Don't say that one thing is 'nearly like' another.

It made me feel almost like a mother.

You can use almost in front of negative words such as never, no, none, no-one, nothing, and nowhere.

He almost never visits.
She speaks almost no English.

Don't use 'nearly' in front of negative words like these.

3. when you use 'nearly'

You can use nearly after not to emphasize a negative statement. For example, instead of saying 'The room is not big enough', you can say 'The room is not nearly big enough'.

It's not nearly as nice.
We don't do nearly enough to help.

Don't use 'almost' after not like this.

You can use very or so in front of nearly.

We were very nearly at the end of our journey.
She so nearly won the championship.

Don't use 'almost' with very or so.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.almost - (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but; "the job is (just) about done"; "the baby was almost asleep when the alarm sounded"; "we're almost finished"; "the car all but ran her down"; "he nearly fainted"; "talked for nigh onto 2 hours"; "the recording is well-nigh perfect"; "virtually all the parties signed the contract"; "I was near exhausted by the run"; "most everyone agrees"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adverb nearly, about, approaching, close to, virtually, practically, roughly, all but, just about, not quite, on the brink of, not far from, approximately, well-nigh, as good as The couple had been dating for almost three years.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


Near to in quantity or amount:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
næstum òví
gần như


[ˈɔːlməʊst] ADVcasi
it's almost finished/readycasi está terminado/listo
it's almost midnightya es casi medianoche
he almost certainly will wincasi seguro que gana
he almost fellcasi se caepor poco no se cae
I had almost forgotten about itcasi lo olvidopor poco no lo olvido
we're almost thereestamos a punto de llegar, ya nos falta poco para llegar
"have you finished?" - "almost"-¿has acabado? -casi
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈɔːlməʊst] advpresque
almost impossible → presque impossible
to almost do sth
I've almost finished → J'ai presque fini.
He almost fell → Il est presque tombé.
BUT Il a failli tomber.
almost a month → presque un mois
almost 5 kilometres → presque cinq kilomètres
almost all → presque tout
almost as big as ... → presque aussi grand(e) que ...
almost certainly → presque sûrement
almost immediately → presque immédiatement
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


advfast, beinahe; he almost feller wäre fast gefallen; she’ll almost certainly comesie kommt ziemlich sicher
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈɔːlməʊst] advquasi
he almost fell → per poco non è caduto
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈoːlməust) adverb
nearly but not quite. She is almost five years old; She almost fell under a moving car.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


تَقْرِيباً téměř næsten fast σχεδόν casi melkein presque skoro quasi ほとんど 거의 bijna nesten prawie quase почти nästan เกือบจะ neredeyse gần như 几乎
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


adv. casi, cerca de, alrededor de.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
Collins Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Granet, a few days later, brought his car to a standstill in front of an ordinary five-barred gate upon which was painted in white letters "Market Burnham Hall." A slight grey mist was falling and the country inland was almost blotted from sight.
Her intimacy there had made him seriously determine on her being handsomely legacied hereafter; and to speak of her therefore as the almost acknowledged future heiress of Fullerton naturally followed.
Of late, almost every author who has studied the subject has come to this conclusion.
Lord Dawlish, if he had been able to diagnose correctly the almost paternal attitude which had become his host's normal manner these days, would have been equally embarrassed but less startled, for conscience had already suggested to him from time to time that he had been guilty of a feeling toward Elizabeth warmer than any feeling that should come to an engaged man.
He therefore deposited the said half-price himself; for he was a very prudent lad, and so careful of his money, that he had laid up almost every penny which he had received from Mr Allworthy.
She realised that my outburst of passion had been simply revenge, a fresh humiliation, and that to my earlier, almost causeless hatred was added now a personal hatred, born of envy....Though I do not maintain positively that she understood all this distinctly; but she certainly did fully understand that I was a despicable man, and what was worse, incapable of loving her.
I was in the mean time printing the material of Venetian Life and the Italian Journeys in a Boston newspaper after its rejection by the magazines; and my literary life, almost without my willing it, had taken the course of critical observance of books and men in their actuality.
"One of them behemoths of 'Oly Writ," muttered Tippet as they came to a halt and with guns ready awaited the almost inevitable charge.
Just then she heard feet almost running down the corridor and her door opened and the nurse came in.
It was gloomy and stately, but it owed its character almost entirely to its noble shape and to the fine architectural doors-- as high as the doors of houses--which, leading into the various rooms, repeated themselves on either side at intervals.
By the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, further, the Italians had become intellectually one of the keenest races whom the world has ever known, though in morals they were sinking to almost incredible corruption.
Almost a year and a half has passed since his crime.