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already

[ awl-red-ee ]
/ ɔlˈrɛd i /
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adverb
by this or that time; prior to or at some specified or implied time; previously: 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!
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Origin of already

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English al redy “all ready”; what originally 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”)

words often confused with already

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? ).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use already in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for already

already
/ (ɔːlˈrɛdɪ) /

adverb
by or before a stated or implied timehe is already here
at a time earlier than expectedis 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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