From Middle English alredy, alredi, equivalent to al- + ready. Compare Dutch alreeds (“already”), Afrikaans alreeds (“already”), Middle Low German alreide, alreids (“already”), Danish allerede (“already”), Swedish allaredan (“already”), Norwegian Nynorsk allereie (“already”). More at all, ready.
The use as an intensifier is a semantic loan from Yiddish שוין (shoyn).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɔːlˈɹɛdi/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɔlˈɹɛdi/
- (cot–caught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ɑlˈɹɛdi/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛdi
- Hyphenation: al‧read‧y
already (not comparable)
- Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
- I was surprised that she hadn’t already told me the news.
- Much of what he said I knew already.
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book VI, Canto IX”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
- Tho, when-as all things ready were aright, / The Damzel was before the Altar ſet, / Being already dead with fearful fright.
- 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: […] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] […], →OCLC:
- 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.
- 1891 June 25, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Adventure I.—A Scandal in Bohemia.”, in Geo[rge] Newnes, editor, The Strand Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, volume II, London: George Newnes, Limited, […], published July 1891, →OCLC:
- 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”, in 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.
- So soon.
- Are you quitting already?
- (US) 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!
- 1988 June 24, Liz Smith, Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, page P-5:
- Enough already with the lack of glamour!
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). "Already" and "all ready" do not mean the same thing. The two-word term can be used to mean "fully prepared".
- → Gulf Arabic: أوردي (orridi)