AskDefine | Define almost

Dictionary Definition

almost adv : (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; `near' is sometimes used informally for `nearly' and `most' is sometimes used informally for `almost'; "the job is (just) about done"; "the baby was almost asleep when the alarm sounded"; "we're almost finished"; "the car all but ran her down"; "he nearly fainted"; "talked for nigh onto 2 hours"; "the recording is well-nigh perfect"; "virtually all the parties signed the contract"; "I was near exhausted by the run"; "most everyone agrees" [syn: about, just about, most, all but, nearly, near, nigh, virtually, well-nigh]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a UK /ɔːlˈməʊst/|/ˈɔːl.məʊst/, /"O:l.m@Ust/|/O:l"m@Ust/
  • a US /ˈɔl.moʊst/, /"Ol.moUst/
  • Hyphenation: al·most




  1. Very close
  2. Not quite




  1. Similar to
    They could be almost brothers.


  1. 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.

Extensive Definition

In mathematics, especially in set theory, when dealing with sets of infinite size, the term almost or nearly is used to mean all the elements except for finitely many.
In other words, an infinite set S that is a subset of another infinite set L, is almost L if the subtracted set L\S is of finite size.
  • The set S = \ is almost N for any k in N, because only finitely many natural numbers are less than k.
  • The set of prime numbers is not almost N because there are infinitely many natural numbers that are not prime numbers.
This is conceptually similar to the almost everywhere concept of measure theory, but is not the same. For example, the Cantor set is uncountably infinite, but has Lebesgue measure zero. So a real number in (0, 1) is a member of the complement of the Cantor set almost everywhere, but it is not true that the complement of the Cantor set is almost the real numbers in (0, 1).
almost in German: Fast alle
almost in Esperanto: Vikipedio:Projekto matematiko/Preskaŭ
almost in Hungarian: Majdnem
almost in Chinese: 幾乎

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

about, all but, approximately, as good as, as much as, barely, bordering on, close, closely, essentially, hardly, in effect, just about, most, much, near, nearabout, nearly, nigh, nighhand, not quite, practically, pretty near, scarcely, verging on, virtually, well-nigh
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