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[awl-red-ee] /ɔlˈrɛd i/
by this or that time; previously; prior to or at some specified or implied time:
When we came in, we found they had already arrived.
now; so soon; so early:
Is it noon already?
Informal. (used as an intensifier to express exasperation or impatience):
Let's go already!
Origin of already
1350-1400; Middle English al redy all ready; what orig. meant “completely (all) ready” and modified the subject (The porter all ready was there) was taken adverbially as modifying the predicate (The porter already was there, meaning “from an earlier time”)
Usage note
Although already and all ready are often indistinguishable in speech, the written forms have distinct meanings and uses. The phrase all ready means “entirely ready” or “prepared” (I was all ready to leave on vacation). Already means “previously” (The plane had already left the airport) or “so soon” (Is it lunchtime already?). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for already
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • already the middle of the body and the shoulders quivered like water on the point of boiling.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • With how much confidence he was trusted has been already told.

  • You notice by the speed of the train that we are already mounting upwards.

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • But the sailors were already dashing away through the woods.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • The necessity for and the advisability of spraying have already been pointed out.

    Apple Growing M. C. Burritt
British Dictionary definitions for already


by or before a stated or implied time: he is already here
at a time earlier than expected: is it ten o'clock already?
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for already

c.1300, compound of all + ready (adj.); literally "fully ready." Cf. Norwegian, Danish allerede "already." Colloquial use in U.S. as a terminal emphatic (e.g. enough, already!) is attested from 1903, translating Yiddish shoyn, which is used in same sense. The pattern also is attested in Pennsylvania German and in South African.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for already



  1. Without further ado; such being the case: Let's go already
  2. Right now; at once: Shut up already
  3. Very specifically; precisely: Drop dead already �Already is used chiefly for a humorous exasperated effect and to suggest Yiddish speech patterns
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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