Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb In the near future; shortly.
  • adverb Just prior to something; shortly.
  • adverb Without hesitation; promptly or speedily.
  • adverb With willingness; readily.
  • adverb Archaic Before the usual or appointed time; early.
  • adverb Obsolete Immediately.
  • idiom (no sooner … than) As soon as.
  • idiom (sooner or later) At some time; eventually.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Early; speedy; quick.
  • At once; forthwith; immediately.
  • In a short time; at an early date or an early moment; before long; shortly; presently: as, winter will soon be here; I hope to see you soon.
  • Early; before the time specified is much advanced: when the time, event, or the like has but just arrived: as, soon in the morning; soon at night (that is, early in the evening, or as soon as night sets in); soon at five o′ clock (that is, as soon as the hour of five arrives): an old locution still in use in the southern United States.
  • Early; before the usual, proper, set, or expected time.
  • Quickly; speedily; easily.
  • Readily; willingly; gladly: in this sense generally accompanied by would or some other word expressing will, and often in the comparative sooner, ‘rather.’
  • Synonyms and
  • Betimes, etc. (see early), promptly, quickly.
  • Lief.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Speedy; quick.
  • adverb In a short time; shortly after any time specified or supposed.
  • adverb Without the usual delay; before any time supposed; early.
  • adverb Promptly; quickly; easily.
  • adverb Readily; willingly; -- in this sense used with would, or some other word expressing will.
  • adverb immediately at or after another event.
  • adverb [Obs.] as soon as; or, as soon as the time referred to arrives.
  • adverb at some uncertain time in the future.
  • adverb [Obs.] as soon as any; among the earliest; too soon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Occurring within a short time, or quickly
  • adverb obsolete Immediately, instantly
  • adverb Within a short time; quickly
  • adverb early

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

  • adverb in the near future

Etymologies

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

[Middle English sone, from Old English sōna, immediately, soon.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English soone, sone, from Old English sōna ("immediately, at once"), from Proto-Germanic *sēna, *sēnô (“immediately, soon, then”), from Proto-Germanic *sa (demonstrative pronoun), from Proto-Indo-European *só (demonstrative pronoun). Cognate with Scots sone, sune, schone ("soon, quickly, at once"), North Frisian san ("immediately, at once"), Dutch dialectal zaan ("soon, before long"), Middle Low German sān ("right afterwards, soon"), Middle High German sān, son ("soon, then"), Old High German sār ("immediately, soon"). Compare also Gothic 𐍃𐌿𐌽𐍃 (suns, "immediately, soon"), from Proto-Germanic *suniz (“soon”).

Examples

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