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1 : next immediately preceding or following (as in a chain of causation, events, or effects)
: being or leading to a particular esp. foreseeable result without intervention see also proximate cause at cause
2 : very or relatively close or near [would be sufficiently to the commencement of the defendant's trial "Johnson v. New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719 (1966)"]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.