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From Middle English alredy, alredi, equivalent to al- +‎ ready. Compare Dutch alreeds (already), Afrikaans alreeds (already), Middle Low German alreide, alreids (already), Danish allerede (already), Swedish allaredan (already), Norwegian Nynorsk allereie (already). More at all, ready.

The use as an intensifier in American English is a semantic loan from German schon and Yiddish שוין(shoyn).



already (not comparable)

  1. Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
    I was surprised that she hadn’t already told me the news.
    Much of what he said I knew already.
  2. So soon.
    Are you quitting already?
  3. (US) An intensifier used to emphasize impatience or express exasperation.
    I wish they'd finish already, so we can get going.
    Be quiet already!
    • 1988 June 24, Liz Smith, Toledo Blade[1], Toledo, Ohio, page P-5:
      Enough already with the lack of glamour!

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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).
  • "Already" and "all ready" do not mean the same thing. The two-word term can be used to mean "fully prepared."

Derived terms[edit]


  • Gulf Arabic: أوردي(orridi)


See also[edit]