The thing I like about next to is that it does not specify whether it is to the left or to the right.

However, for the vertical next to, it appears one needs to specify whether it is “above” or “below”. I find quite interesting why this would be the case (cf. various other vertical versus horizontal biases: reading direction, attentional acuity, etc), but I also find it quite annoying.

I would like to find a word that is the equivalent of next to but which applies to the vertical case. That is, it indicates that a position is either above or below, without specifying which of those two applies.

Sample Sentences, assuming the preposition is abaqine:

"The sparrow abaqine that falcon is casting a shadow on that sand dune."

"Look at those macaques, they're all climbing abaqine one another."

"In my fridge all the good food is abaqine each other, so I can't get it without toppling it all over."

  • 5
    Like adjacent, next to applies vertically as well as horizontally. Mar 4, 2013 at 16:05
  • Okay. Are there two words that are equivalent to "vertically adjacent" and "horizontally adjacent" respectively? Mar 4, 2013 at 16:20
  • 1
    @CrisStringfellow: "Next to" would be an alternative to "horizontally adjacent". Mar 4, 2013 at 16:23
  • 1
    @mplungjan: The OP wants a word that implies "on top of" as well as "below". Mar 4, 2013 at 16:23
  • 2
    I don't think this is good enough to put as an answer, but the most concise I could come up with is "stacked together" but that's probably no better than "vertically adjacent", and perhaps less precise.
    – TecBrat
    Mar 4, 2013 at 17:05

2 Answers 2

  • proximate
  • proximal
  • adjacent
  • nearest
  • contiguous (possibly)**

These are all synonyms for the concept of "next". I would suggest having a sample sentence with which to test each word for reasonableness.

  • 1
    The first two could work in any n-dimensions (it seems). Nearest is unexpectedly good. Contiguous? I don't know. Ok, good idea with sample sentences. I'll edit within the next 12 hours. Mar 5, 2013 at 0:47
  • Added sample sentences. Mar 24, 2013 at 18:41

I think @TecBrat is on the right track in the comments. Vertically adjacent items could be stacked, layered, or piled together. I'm still trying to come up with a good preposition, though.

  • Added sample sentences. I kept thinking of 'stacked' it's quite good. Mar 24, 2013 at 18:42

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