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  1. occurring or accomplished without delay; instant: an immediate reply.
  2. following or preceding without a lapse of time: the immediate future.
  3. having no object or space intervening; nearest or next: in the immediate vicinity.
  4. of or relating to the present time or moment: our immediate plans.
  5. without intervening medium or agent; direct: an immediate cause.
  6. having a direct bearing: immediate consideration.
  7. very close in relationship: my immediate family.
  8. Philosophy. directly intuited.

Origin of immediate

1525–35; < Medieval Latin immediātus. See im-2, mediate (adj.)
Related formsim·me·di·ate·ness, nounqua·si-im·me·di·ate, adjectivequa·si-im·me·di·ate·ly, adverbun·im·me·di·ate, adjectiveun·im·me·di·ate·ly, adverbun·im·me·di·ate·ness, noun

Synonyms for immediate

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for immediate


adjective (usually prenominal)
  1. taking place or accomplished without delayan immediate reaction
  2. closest or most direct in effect or relationshipthe immediate cause of his downfall
  3. having no intervening medium; direct in effectan immediate influence
  4. contiguous in space, time, or relationshipour immediate neighbour
  5. present; currentthe immediate problem is food
  6. philosophy of or relating to an object or concept that is directly known or intuited
  7. logic (of an inference) deriving its conclusion from a single premise, esp by conversion or obversion of a categorial statement
Derived Formsimmediacy or immediateness, noun

Word Origin for immediate

C16: from Medieval Latin immediātus, from Latin im- (not) + mediāre to be in the middle; see mediate
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

Word Origin and History for immediate

late 14c., "intervening, interposed;" early 15c., "with nothing interposed; direct," also with reference to time, from Old French immediat, from Late Latin immediatus "without anything between," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + mediatus, past participle of mediare "to halve," later, "be in the middle," from Latin medius "middle" (see medial (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper