Definitions

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

  • adj. Occurring at once; instant: gave me an immediate response.
  • adj. Of or near the present time: in the immediate future.
  • adj. Of or relating to the present time and place; current: "It is probable that, apart from the most immediate, pragmatic, technical revisions, the writer's effort to detach himself from his work is quixotic” ( Joyce Carol Oates).
  • adj. Close at hand; near: in the immediate vicinity. See Synonyms at close.
  • adj. Next in line or relation: is an immediate successor to the president of the company.
  • adj. Directly apprehended or perceived: had immediate awareness of the scope of the crisis.
  • adj. Acting or occurring without the interposition of another agency or object; direct.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. happening right away, instantly, with no delay
  • adj. Very close; direct or adjacent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not separated in respect to place by anything intervening; proximate; close.
  • adj. Not deferred by an interval of time; present; instant.
  • adj. Acting with nothing interposed or between, or without the intervention of another object as a cause, means, or agency; acting, perceived, or produced, directly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not separated from its object or correlate by any third or medium; directly related; independent of any intermediate agency or action: opposed to remote: as, an immediate cause.
  • Having no space or object intervening; nearest; proximate; having the closest relation: as, immediate contact; the immediate neighborhood.
  • Without any time intervening; without any delay; present; instant: often used, like similar absolute expressions, with less strictness than the literal meaning requires: as, an immediate answer; immediate despatch.
  • In metaphysics, indemonstrable; intuitive; of the character of a direct perception not worked over by the mind.
  • Knowledge of an object as it exists, so that the qualities of our cognition are the qualities of the thing-in-itself.

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

  • adj. immediately before or after as in a chain of cause and effect
  • adj. performed with little or no delay
  • adj. of the present time and place
  • adj. having no intervening medium
  • adj. very close or connected in space or time

Etymologies

Middle English immediat, from Old French, from Late Latin immediātus : Latin in-, not; see in-1 + Latin mediātus, past participle of mediāre, to be in the middle; see mediate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French immediat, from Late Latin immediatus ("without anything between"), from Latin in + mediatus, past participle of mediare ("to halve, to be in the middle"), from medius ("middle") (Wiktionary)

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