Last modified on 22 July 2014, at 15:36

already

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English alredy, alredi, equivalent to al- +‎ ready. Compare Middle Low German alreide, alreids; Dutch alreeds (already). More at all, ready.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ɔːlˈrɛdi/, /ɑːlˈrɛdi/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: al‧read‧y

AdverbEdit

already (not comparable)

  1. Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
    • 1749, John Cleland, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure Part 6
      slipping then my cloaths off, I crept under the bed-cloaths, where I found the young stripling already nestled, and the touch of his warm flesh rather pleas'd than alarm'd me.
    • Arthur Conan Doyle
      It was already dusk, and the lamps were just being lighted as we paced up and down in front of Briony Lodge, waiting for the coming of its occupant.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
  2. So soon.
    Are you quitting already?
  3. (US) Influenced by Yiddish שוין (shoyn) An intensifier used to emphasize impatience or express exasperation.
    I wish they'd finish already, so we can get going;  enough already!;  be quiet already!

Usage notesEdit

Already may be used with the present perfect (I have already done that), the past perfect (I had already done it by then), the future perfect (When you arrive, the business will already have been completed) or the simple future (When you arrive, the business will already be complete).

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