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See more synonyms for soon on Thesaurus.com
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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  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

Examples from the Web for soonest

Historical Examples

  • An accurate knowledge of our defects will soonest lead to their cure.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327


  • However, as Lady Betty says, "the least said, the soonest mended."

  • "As you say, the least said the soonest mended," he rejoined.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • "Then take the shortest, and you'll be soonest at your journey's end," said he, gruffly.

    Confessions Of Con Cregan

    Charles James Lever

  • Its most salient points of character are often soonest invaded.

British Dictionary definitions for soonest


  1. the superlative of soon
  2. as soon as possible; urgently; without delaysend money soonest
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  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 soonest



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 soonest


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.