What is the meaning of "near tears" idiom?


When I was 18, while hiking with a friend in Colorado, I tried to impress him by climbing up a rock. A minute later, realizing I was stuck, I called down to him, near tears.

Urban Dictionary describes idiom as "a feeling of rapture". But as I understand from example it has opposite meaning.

  • 6
    If someone is near tears, they are about to cry, from happiness, sadness, fear, or otherwise.
    – Anonym
    Apr 23, 2015 at 1:03
  • Is the quote you give from where Urban Dictionary says it is a 'feeling of rapture'? Aren't there other definitions given at UD?
    – Mitch
    Apr 23, 2015 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


Oxford Dictionary of English - Page 1185 Angus Stevenson - 2010

near preposition

3 close to (a state); verging on: she gave a tiny smile, brave but near tears | she was near to death. 2a small amount below (another amount): temperatures near 2 million degrees.

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