View synonyms for sooner



[ soo-ner ]


  1. the comparative form of soon.
  2. within a shorter period:

    That day will come sooner than you think.

  3. earlier:

    I just wish I'd done it sooner.

  4. in preference to something else; more willingly or readily; rather:

    We might sooner trust the wind than trust our own frail resolutions.

  5. more likely or easily:

    It's a color you might sooner expect to find on a Lamborghini than on a BMW.



[ soo-ner ]


  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.



[ soo-ner ]


  1. a native or inhabitant of Oklahoma the Sooner State (used as a nickname).


/ ˈsuːnə /


  1. the comparative of soon

    he came sooner than I thought

  2. rather; in preference

    I'd sooner die than give up

  3. no sooner…than
    immediately after or when

    no sooner said than done

    no sooner had he got home than the rain stopped

  4. sooner or later
    eventually; inevitably

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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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sooner1

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English soner(e), sonor(e), sonre; soon ( def ) + -er 5( def )

Origin of sooner2

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; soon + -er 1

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. sooner or later, eventually:

    Sooner or later his luck will run out.

  2. would sooner, to prefer to; to prefer that: Compare rather ( def 9 ).

    I would sooner not go to their party.

    I'd sooner you did the recording, as you're better at it than I am.

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Example Sentences

I think within a lot sooner time than that, it’s likely that the board and the administration will have the right conversation about what to do.

From Time

Speed is essential in transplant surgery, because the sooner donor tissue is connected to the recipient’s vascular system, the less time it is denied a blood supply.

From Time

Based on recent Facebook Audience Network research, the sooner publishers adopt bidding, the quicker they can establish their own competitive advantage.

From Digiday

The sooner a variant is singled out, the sooner researchers can study cases and determine whether it leads to more severe symptoms.

The transition will be disruptive, but the sooner industry leaders recognize the reality of it, the better they can mitigate the economic fallout that will inevitably come.

From Fortune

You will have your beloved father back sooner than you think, and you can visit and communicate with him all the while.

Women are more likely to recover sooner from birth and less likely to experience post-partum depression.

“My deepest apologies for not writing sooner,” he began his letter to her by saying.

Then as now, we all are at stake, and sooner or later, we all must make a stand.

“It took off so quickly, I had to come out sooner than I thought,” said Kallai.

I had no sooner stepped upon the frail structure when it suddenly and unaccountably gave way in the middle.

No sooner was the meeting at an end, than he left the Banking-house, and turned his steps towards home.

It was no sooner accomplished, than Ripperda was on the top of the ladder, and in a few seconds by his side.

No; they shall stay at home, and never learn anything, sooner than go and get wet.

No sooner was the ceremony over than the wicked count ordered her to present herself at the castle.


Related Words

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About This Word

What else does Sooner mean?

A Sooner is a person who lives in the state of Oklahoma.

It is also a nickname for students and athletes at the University of Oklahoma.

Where does Sooner come from?

Sooner means “a person who settles on government land before it is legally opened to settlers in order to gain the choice of location.” It comes from a section of the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which became known as the “sooner clause” and was applied to residents of modern-day Oklahoma who moved to the state before the time designated by the federal government.

The name stuck, and today it’s a demonym for all people who live in Oklahoma, which is (not surprisingly) known as the Sooner State.

The name is also used to describe the athletes at the University of Oklahoma. The school’s athletics mascot is the Sooner Schooner, a Conestoga wagon which is drawn at sporting events by two horses named Boomer and (you guessed it) Sooner.

How is Sooner used in real life?

The way Sooner is used depends on who is using it. Residents of the state may describe themselves as proud Sooners, while people outside the state may describe folks who live in Oklahoma as such.

University of Oklahoma athletes, students, and fans use the hashtags “#Sooners” and “#SoonerNation” on social media in reference to the school and its activities.

Although Oklahoma state residents who attend Oklahoma State University are technically Sooners because of where they live, they tend to avoid using the name of their sports rival.


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




soonsooner or later