Definitions

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

  • adv. In the near future; shortly.
  • adv. Without hesitation; promptly: came as soon as possible.
  • adv. Before the usual or appointed time; early.
  • adv. With willingness; readily: I'd as soon leave right now.
  • adv. Obsolete Immediately.
  • idiom no sooner than As soon as: No sooner was the frost off the ground than the work began.
  • idiom sooner or later At some time; eventually: Sooner or later you will have to face the facts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Occurring within a short time, or quickly
  • adv. Immediately, instantly
  • adv. Within a short time; quickly
  • adv. early

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. In a short time; shortly after any time specified or supposed.
  • adv. Without the usual delay; before any time supposed; early.
  • adv. Promptly; quickly; easily.
  • adv. Readily; willingly; -- in this sense used with would, or some other word expressing will.
  • adj. Speedy; quick.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • Early; speedy; quick.

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

  • adv. in the near future

Etymologies

Middle English sone, from Old English sōna, immediately, soon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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”). (Wiktionary)

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