Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Slightly short of; not quite; nearly: almost time to go; was almost asleep; had almost finished. See Usage Note at none.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Very close
  • adv. Not quite
  • n. Something or someone that doesn't quite make it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Nearly; well nigh; all but; for the greatest part.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Nearly all; for the most part; mostly.
  • Very nearly; well-nigh; all but.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English ealmǣst : eall, all; see all + mǣst, most; see most.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English eallmǣst ("nearly all, almost, for the most part"), equivalent to all- +‎ most. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thanks Aria - the chard is almost too lovely to eat..almost;

    Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

  • She almost -- not really, but _almost_ -- wished she had gone home with her mother.

    Mary Jane's City Home

  • They might come and ask him questions, and he might even admit almost all -- _almost_ all, and they could do nothing, for no one had seen what he had done to Toni in the wood.

    True Stories of Crime From the District Attorney's Office

  • Cicero, -- _vox et praeterea almost nihil_ (he had yet to die and show that it was _almost, _ not _quite, _) sheers off too, into the country, there to busy himself with an essay on the _Nature of the Gods_ (to contain, be sure, some fine eloquence), and with making up his mind to attack Anthony on behalf of Republican

    The Crest-Wave of Evolution A Course of Lectures in History, Given to the Graduates' Class in the Raja-Yoga College, Point Loma, in the College-Year 1918-19

  • By the time that Scott came to his 'teens, Mrs. Brenton was doing her level and conscientious best to conceal from him the demoralizing fact of her belief that he could do almost no wrong, and she clung to the modifying _almost_ with a passionate fervour born of her clerical ancestry and her consequent belief in the inherent viciousness of unconverted man.

    The Brentons

  • But his own wits were nimble, almost feminine in the rapid delicacy of their intuition -- _almost_ feminine, but not quite.

    The Common Law

  • Also there were those who had been almost persuaded, and who yet, so far as their salvation was concerned, were no nearer it that day than though they had never thought of the matter, for _almost_ never saves a soul.

    The Chautauqua Girls At Home

  • But as in other cases among mammals all nearly related forms yield an almost equally marked precipitate, so the serum of a rabbit treated with human blood and then added to the blood of an anthropoid ape gives _almost_ as marked

    Evolution in Modern Thought

  • And if, in late old age, no dawn of memory having gleamed in his ruined mind, she came to be able to speak to him and tell him his own story -- the tale of the wreck of his early years -- would not that almost, _almost_, carry with it a kind of compensation for what she had undergone?

    Somehow Good

  • You say you almost love _him_; but until your _almost_ comes to a _quite_, I cannot love _you_.

    Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume I (of 10)

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