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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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Of nigh. [AS. Nhst, niehst, nhst, superl. Of neah nigh. See Nigh.

1. Nearest in place; having no similar object intervening. Her princely guest Was next her side; in order sat the rest. (Dryden) Fear followed me so hard, that I fled the next way. (Bunyan)

2. Nearest in time; as, the next day or hour.

3. Adjoining in a series; immediately preceding or following in order. None could tell whose turn should be the next. (gay)

4. Nearest in degree, quality, rank, right, or relation; as, the next heir was an infant. The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (ruth II. 20)

Next is usually followed by to before an object, but to is sometimes omitted. In such cases next in considered by many grammarians as a preposition. Next friend, one who represents an infant, a married woman, or any person who can not appear sui juris, in a suit at law.