Nigh is an old-fashioned word that can be used as an adjective or adverb to mean near or nearly. Something that is nigh impossible — like knitting a sweater in one night — will be very difficult to accomplish.

As an adjective, nigh is an older form of the word "near," both of which are rooted in the Old English word neah. People like to use the word nigh when they talk about the apocalypse: "Repent! The end is nigh." It's most common to use nigh today when you're trying to sound poetic or referencing the archaic or biblical uses of the word.

Definitions of nigh
  1. adverb
    near in time or place or relationship
    “The end draws nigh
    synonyms: close, near
  2. adverb
    (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
    “talked for nigh onto 2 hours”
    “the recording is well- nigh perfect”
    synonyms: about, almost, most, near, nearly, virtually, well-nigh
  3. adjective
    not far distant in time or space or degree or circumstances
    synonyms: close, near
    near or close to but not necessarily touching
    close at hand
    of a seeker; near to the object sought
    of a seeker; very near to the object sought
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    located at a great distance in time or space or degree
    of a seeker; far from the object sought
    distant, remote
    located far away spatially
    distant, remote, removed
    separate or apart in time
    far-off, faraway
    very far away in space or time
    more distant in especially space or time
    farthermost, farthest, furthermost, furthest, utmost, uttermost
    (comparatives of `far') most remote in space or time or order
    farther, further
    more distant in especially degree
    off the beaten track, out-of-the-way
    remote from populous or much-traveled regions
    relatively far from a center or middle
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  4. adjective
    being on the left side
    synonyms: near
    being or located on or directed toward the side of the body to the west when facing north
Word Family

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