The Alternative English Dictionary: almost

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Entry definition

almost {{slim-wikipedia}} Alternative forms: aulmos (Jamaican English) etymology From Middle English, from Old English eallmǣst, equivalent to al + most. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ɔːl.ˈməʊst/, /ˈɔːl.məʊst/
  • (US) /ˈɔl.moʊst/, /ˈɑl.moʊst/
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adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Very close to, but not quite. Almost all people went there. - Not all but very close to it. We almost missed the train. - Not missed but very close to it.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 5 , “Although the Celebrity was almost impervious to sarcasm, he was now beginning to exhibit visible signs of uneasiness, the consciousness dawning upon him that his eccentricity was not receiving the ovation it merited.”
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 17 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything. In a moment she had dropped to the level of a casual labourer.”
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess , 9, , “Eustace gaped at him in amazement. When his urbanity dropped away from him, as now, he had an innocence of expression which was almost infantile. It was as if the world had never touched him at all.”
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Synonyms: (very close to, but not quite) nearly, nigh, well-nigh, near, close to, next to, practically, virtually
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Something or someone that doesn't quite make it. In all the submissions, they found four papers that were clearly worth publishing and another dozen almosts.
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