Which sounds more natural?

The closest date is ...


The nearest date is ...

Context: It is a variable name in a software application I rewrite, which - in short - expresses the most close date to a given date.

closest date yields 55k results of Google, vs 33k for nearest date.


I don't think there is any significant difference.

  • Thanks for your answer, I tend to think, that closest has a more temporal semantic, whereas nearest is more spatial. – miku May 2 '14 at 9:41
  • I'm a native speaker, and I don't sense the temporal vs. spatial distinction that you evidently feel... – Erik Kowal May 2 '14 at 9:47
  • I'm no native speaker, so I can't really tell where I get this distinction from. Thanks again for the quick reply. – miku May 2 '14 at 9:48

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