[ soo-ner ]
/ ˈsu nər /


a person who settles on government land before it is legally opened to settlers in order to gain the choice of location.
a person who gains an unfair advantage by getting ahead of others.

Origin of sooner

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

Definition for sooner (2 of 3)

[ soo-ner ]
/ ˈsu nər /


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

Definition for sooner (3 of 3)

[ soon ]
/ sun /

adverb, soon·er, soon·est.

within a short period after this or that time, event, etc.: We shall know soon after he calls.
before long; in the near future; at an early date: Let's leave soon.
promptly or quickly: He came as soon as he could.
readily or willingly: I would as soon walk as ride.
early in a period of time; before the time specified is much advanced: soon at night; soon in the evening.
Obsolete. immediately; at once; forthwith.

Origin of soon

before 900; Middle English; Old English sōna; cognate with Old High German sān, Gothic suns


currently immediately momentarily now presently soon (see synonym study at immediately) (see usage note at presently) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for sooner

British Dictionary definitions for sooner (1 of 2)

/ (ˈsuːnə) /


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

usage for sooner

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

British Dictionary definitions for sooner (2 of 2)

/ (suːn) /


in or after a short time; in a little while; before longthe doctor will soon be here
as soon as at the very moment thatshe burst into tears as soon as she saw him
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

Word Origin for soon

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

Idioms and Phrases with sooner


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.

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