Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. By this or a specified time: The children were already asleep when we got home.
  • adv. So soon: Are you quitting already?
  • adv. Informal Used as an intensive: Be quiet already. Enough already.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.
  • adv. So soon.
  • adv. Influenced by Yiddish שױן (shoyn) An intensifier used to emphasize impatience or express exasperation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Prior to some specified time, either past, present, or future; by this time; previously.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • All prepared; quite ready: regularly written all ready.
  • Existing at the specified time; present.
  • By this (or that) time; previously to or at some specified time, or the time present to thought; thus early; even then, or even now: as, he has done it already; the house is full already.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. prior to a specified or implied time

Etymologies

Middle English alredi : al, all; see all + redi, ready; see ready.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English alredy, alredi, equivalent to al- +‎ ready. Compare Middle Low German alreide, alreids; Dutch alreeds ("already"). More at all, ready. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That we already live in a partial fantasy world and base broad sweeping ideas based on lies is *already* causing a massive problem.

    The oil spill and risk management

  • In view of the great scarcity of feathered game, and the number of deadly machine guns already on the market, the production of the last and deadliest automatic gun (by the Winchester Arms Company), _already in great demand_, is a crime against wild life, no less.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life Its Extermination and Preservation

  • Incompetent he undoubtedly is, as we have already seen, to start with, and _if he were not so already_, he would certainly become so by reason of the trade or rather of the miscellaneous assortment of trades which are thrust upon him.

    The Cult of Incompetence

  • Old wisdom, stuff that is already known, that has ­already long been known.

    Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | guardian.co.uk

  • However, for companies like GM, that * already have* electric powertrains with the required power and torque (from the EV1 and various fuel cell vehicles) it does make sense to just use what they have on hand, taking advantage of development time and money * already* spent.

    Autoblog Green

  • This may be too “niche” for you, but I would also be really interested in hearing your thoughts on eating for people who have *already* weight loss surgery I say already because I think I read somewhere on your blog that you don’t really like the concept of weight loss surgery, specifically Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

    A call for help II | The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

  • "I've bored of it already" (ever so slightly questionable unless in a question with heavy stress on the adverb: "Has (he bored of it _already_?"

    languagehat.com: BORING.

  • I’ve started revision for the ‘O’s already, and I can do practice papers for the 3 sciences already…

    j-gan Diary Entry

  • The label already said Multaq shouldn't be given to such patients, especially if they have been recently hospitalized for cardiac reasons.

    FDA Further Restricts Use of Sanofi's Multaq

  • The label already warned of the possibility of several types of serious side-effects including fatal bleeding, strokes and heart attacks.

    FDA: Avastin Could Affect Fertility in Women

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