“Nearly” is one of those rubber words that means different things
to different people, and may even mean different things to the same
person at different times and in different situations.
I can tell you this much:
— The Earth’s orbit is an ellipse with eccentricity of 0.0167… .
— At closest approach to the sun (perihelion, around January 3), the Earth
is about 3.3% closer to the sun than at its farthest (aphelion, around July 5).
— When the true shape of the orbit is drawn on paper, its departure from
a perfect circle is not noticeable.
So to me, Earth’s orbit is “nearly circular”. Your interpretation of the same
words may be different.