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 allereie (“already”). More at all, ready.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɔːlˈɹɛdi/, /ɑːlˈɹɛdi/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɔlˈɹɛdi/
- (cot–caught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ɑlˈɹɛdi/
Audio (US) (file)
- Hyphenation: al‧read‧y
already (not comparable)
- Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
- 1749, [John Cleland], Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: Printed [by Thomas Parker] for G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] […], OCLC 731622352:
- 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”, 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!
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."