now and again, occasionally.Also now and then.
    now that, inasmuch as; since: Now that she is rich and famous, she is constantly being besieged by appeals for aid.

Origin of now

before 900; 1965–70 for def 11; Middle English; Old English nū, cognate with Old Norse, Gothic nū; akin to German nun, Latin num, Sanskrit nu, Greek nú, nûn
Related formsnow·ness, noun
Can be confusedcurrently immediately momentarily now presently soon (see synonym study at immediately) (see usage note at presently)


[nou] Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for now

Contemporary Examples of now

Historical Examples of now

  • Now you and sis never get up with any such light poetic notion as that.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • This here fellow, now, couldn't make an honest livin' like that, I bet you.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Dad and the mater both say the same now—they're more severe than I was.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "Now you are angry with me," exclaimed the sensitive maiden; and she burst into tears.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Look at him now over there, the way he goes around butting into strangers.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for now



at or for the present time or moment
at this exact moment; immediately
in these times; nowadays
given the present circumstancesnow we'll have to stay to the end
(preceded by just) very recentlyhe left just now
(often preceded by just) very soonhe is leaving just now
now and again, now and then, every now and again or every now and then occasionally; on and off
for now for the time being
now now! (interjection) an exclamation used to rebuke or pacify someone
now then
  1. (sentence connector)used to preface an important remark, the next step in an argument, etc
  2. (interjection)an expression of mild reproofnow then, don't tease!


(subordinating often foll by that) seeing that; since it has become the case thatnow you're in charge, things will be better

sentence connector

  1. used as a transitional particle or hesitation wordnow, I can't really say
  2. used for emphasisnow listen to this
  3. used at the end of a command, esp in dismissalrun along, now


the present moment or timenow is the time to go


informal of the moment; fashionablethe now look is street fashion

Word Origin for now

Old English nū; compare Old Saxon nū, German nun, Latin nunc, Greek nu
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 now

Old English nu "now, at present, immediately; now that," also used as an interjection and as an introductory word; common Germanic (cf. Old Norse nu, Dutch nu, Old Frisian nu, German nun, Gothic nu "now"), from PIE *nu "now" (cf. Sanskrit and Avestan nu, Old Persian nuram, Hittite nuwa, Greek nu, nun, Latin nunc, Old Church Slavonic nyne, Lithuanian nu, Old Irish nu-). Perhaps originally "newly, recently," and related to the root of new.

Often merely emphatic; non-temporal usage (cf. Now, then) was in Old English. The adjective meaning "up to date" first recorded 1967, but the word was used also as an adjective in Middle English with the sense "current" from late 14c. Now and then "occasionally" is from 1530s; now or never attested from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with now


In addition to the idioms beginning with now

  • now and again
  • now or never, it's
  • now that
  • now you're talking

also see:

  • any day (now)
  • every now and then
  • here and now
  • just now
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.