Webster 1913 Edition



) +
Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
“Joseph was in Egypt already.”
Exod. i. 5.
I say unto you, that Elias is come
Matt. xvii. 12.
☞ It has reference to past time, but may be used for a future past; as, when you shall arrive, the business will be already completed, or will have been already completed.

Webster 1828 Edition



alred'dy. [all and ready. See Ready.]
Literally, a state of complete preparation; but, by an easy deflection, the sense is, at this time, or at a specified time.
Elias is come already. Mat. 17.
Joseph was in Egypt already. Ex. 1.

Definition 2022





already (not comparable)

  1. Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
    • 1749, John Cleland, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, Part 6
      slipping then my cloaths off, I crept under the bed-cloaths, where I found the young stripling already nestled, and the touch of his warm flesh rather pleas'd than alarm'd me.
    • Arthur Conan Doyle
      It was already dusk, and the lamps were just being lighted as we paced up and down in front of Briony Lodge, waiting for the coming of its occupant.
    • 2013 July 20, Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
  1. So soon.
    Are you quitting already?
  2. (US) Influenced by Yiddish שוין (shoyn) An intensifier used to emphasize impatience or express exasperation.
    I wish they'd finish already, so we can get going;  enough already!;  be quiet already!

Usage notes

Already may be used with the present perfect (I have already done that), the past perfect (I had already done it by then), the future perfect (When you arrive, the business will already have been completed) or the simple future (When you arrive, the business will already be complete).


See also


Most common English words before 1923: received · read · together · #301: already · son · death · works