From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Near \Near\, a. [Compar. Nearer; superl. Nearest.] [See
   Near, adv.]
   1. Not far distant in time, place, or degree; not remote;
      close at hand; adjacent; neighboring; nigh. "As one near
      death." --Shak.
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            He served great Hector, and was ever near,
            Not with his trumpet only, but his spear. --Dryden.
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   2. Closely connected or related.
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            She is thy father's near kinswoman.   --Lev. xviii.
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   3. Close to one's interests, affection, etc.; touching, or
      affecting intimately; intimate; dear; as, a near friend.
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   4. Close to anything followed or imitated; not free, loose,
      or rambling; as, a version near to the original.
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   5. So as barely to avoid or pass injury or loss; close;
      narrow[3]; as, a near escape; a near miss.
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   6. Next to the driver, when he is on foot; in the Unted
      States, on the left of an animal or a team; as, the near
      ox; the near leg. See Off side, under Off, a.
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   7. Immediate; direct; close; short. "The nearest way."
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   8. Close-fisted; parsimonious. [Obs. or Low, Eng.]
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   Note: Near may properly be followed by to before the thing
         approached; but more frequently to is omitted, and the
         adjective or the adverb is regarded as a preposition.
         The same is also true of the word nigh.
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   Syn: Nigh; close; adjacent; proximate; contiguous; present;
        ready; intimate; familiar; dear.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

nearer \nearer\ adj.
   less distant in space; as, we walked to the nearer house.
   [WordNet 1.5]
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