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sooner

[soo-ner]
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noun
  1. a person who settles on government land before it is legally opened to settlers in order to gain the choice of location.
  2. a person who gains an unfair advantage by getting ahead of others.
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Origin of sooner

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; soon + -er1

Sooner

[soo-ner]
noun
  1. a native or inhabitant of Oklahoma (the Sooner State) (used as a nickname).
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soon

[soon]
adverb, soon·er, soon·est.
  1. within a short period after this or that time, event, etc.: We shall know soon after he calls.
  2. before long; in the near future; at an early date: Let's leave soon.
  3. promptly or quickly: He came as soon as he could.
  4. readily or willingly: I would as soon walk as ride.
  5. early in a period of time; before the time specified is much advanced: soon at night; soon in the evening.
  6. Obsolete. immediately; at once; forthwith.
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Idioms
  1. sooner or later, eventually: Sooner or later his luck will run out.
  2. would sooner, to prefer to: I would sooner not go to their party.Compare rather(def 9).
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Origin of soon

before 900; Middle English; Old English sōna; cognate with Old High German sān, Gothic suns
Can be confusedcurrently immediately momentarily now presently soon (see synonym study at immediately) (see usage note at presently)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

rapidlyspeedilypromptlyearlydirectlyshortlyquicklyinstantlypresentlyanonbetimesfastforthwithhastilylickety-splitposthasteprontoquickshortexpeditiously

Examples from the Web for sooner

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • No sooner did the thought occur to him than he acted upon it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • So he lay down in the coffin but no sooner was he inside when bang!

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • But if I join to you, I'll have to meet him sooner or later.

  • The sooner you go to see Miss Wilder the sooner you'll know her fate.

  • No sooner was the first light streaking the horizon to the east than Andrew wakened.


British Dictionary definitions for sooner

sooner

adverb
  1. the comparative of soon he came sooner than I thought
  2. rather; in preferenceI'd sooner die than give up
  3. no sooner…than immediately after or whenno sooner had he got home than the rain stopped; no sooner said than done
  4. sooner or later eventually; inevitably
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usage

When is sometimes used instead of than after no sooner, but this use is generally regarded as incorrect: no sooner had he arrived than (not when) the telephone rang

soon

adverb
  1. in or after a short time; in a little while; before longthe doctor will soon be here
  2. as soon as at the very moment thatshe burst into tears as soon as she saw him
  3. as soon…as used to indicate that the second alternative mentioned is not preferable to the firstI'd just as soon go by train as drive
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Word Origin

Old English sōna; related to Old High German sāno, Gothic suns
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 sooner

soon

adv.

Old English sona "at once, immediately, directly, forthwith," from West Germanic *sæno (cf. Old Frisian son, Old Saxon sana, Old High German san, Gothic suns "soon"). Sense softened early Middle English to "within a short time" (cf. anon). American English. Sooner for "Oklahoma native" is 1930 (earlier "one who acts prematurely," 1889), from the 1889 opening to whites of what was then part of Indian Territory, when many would-be settlers sneaked onto public land and staked their claims "sooner" than the legal date and time.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sooner

soon

see as soon as; fool and his money are soon parted; had rather (sooner); just as soon; no sooner said than done; speak too soon.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.