[ ih-mee-dee-it-lee ]
See synonyms for immediately on
  1. without lapse of time; without delay; instantly; at once: Please telephone him immediately.

  2. with no object or space intervening.

  1. closely: immediately in the vicinity.

  2. without intervening medium or agent; concerning or affecting directly.

  1. Chiefly British. the moment that; as soon as.

Origin of immediately

A late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at immediate, -ly

synonym study For immediately

1. Immediately, instantly, directly, presently were once close synonyms, all denoting complete absence of delay or any lapse of time. Immediately and instantly still almost always have that sense and usually mean at once: He got up immediately. She responded instantly to the request. Directly is usually equivalent to soon, in a little while rather than at once: You go ahead, we'll join you directly. Presently changes sense according to the tense of the verb with which it is used. With a present tense verb it usually means now, at the present time: The author presently lives in San Francisco. She is presently working on a new novel. In some contexts, especially those involving a contrast between the present and the near future, presently can mean soon or in a little while: She is at the office now but will be home presently.

Other words for immediately

Opposites for immediately

Other words from immediately

  • qua·si-im·me·di·ate·ly, adverb
  • un·im·me·di·ate·ly, adverb

Words Nearby immediately Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use immediately in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for immediately


/ (ɪˈmiːdɪətlɪ) /

  1. without delay or intervention; at once; instantly: it happened immediately

  2. very closely or directly: this immediately concerns you

  1. near or close by: he's somewhere immediately in this area

  1. (subordinating) mainly British at the same time as; as soon as: immediately he opened the door, there was a gust of wind

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