very close to someone or something, with nothing in between [= beside]:
There was a little girl sitting next to him.
He knows next to nothing about antiques.
used to give a list of things you like, hate etc in order to say what is first on the list:
Next to soccer, I like playing tennis best.
in comparison with someone or something:
Next to her, I'm a very poor cook.
the one before the last one:
We'll need to buy some more wine. This is the next to last bottle.
almost impossible, useless etc:
This crossword puzzle is next to impossible.