Definition of soon in English:

soon

Syllabification: soon
Pronunciation: /so͞on
 
/

adverb

  • 1In or after a short time: everyone will soon know the truth he’ll be home soon they arrived soon after 7:30
    More example sentences
    • Zoe soon arrived and we headed back to Gee's where we sat outside and tried not to sound geeky.
    • Go the other way and you will soon arrive on one of the fabulous southern beaches.
    • I know of men who are in danger of losing their home if the money doesn't arrive soon.
    Synonyms
    shortly, presently, in the near future, before long, in a little while, in a minute, in a moment, in an instant, in a bit, in the twinkling of an eye, in no time, before you know it, any minute (now), any day (now), by and by
    informal pronto, in a jiffy
    dated directly, anon
  • 1.1Early: it’s a pity you have to leave so soon I wish you’d told me sooner it was too soon to know
    More example sentences
    • At this early stage it is too soon to say whether it has been a good or bad thing to do or what the repercussions of it all might be.
    • I kept putting her off, telling her it was too soon and if we bought it too early it would go off.
    • Sadly, we have also seen, all too soon, the bitter truth that lives are lost in wars.
    Synonyms
    early, quickly, promptly, speedily, punctuallyearlier, before, beforehand, in advance, ahead of time; already
  • 2Used to indicate one’s preference in a particular matter: I’d just as soon Tim did it I would sooner resign than transfer to Toronto
    More example sentences
    • That was one of those race days I’d just as soon forget.
    • I would as soon die as suffer that.
    Synonyms
    rather, preferably, by preference, by choice, more willingly, more readily

Phrases

no sooner —— than

Used to convey that the second event mentioned happens immediately after the first: she had no sooner spoken than the telephone rang
More example sentences
  • No sooner had they realized that they had made a mistake than the company went bankrupt.

sooner or later

At some future time; eventually: you’ll have to tell him sooner or later
More example sentences
  • Environmental changes in one area of the world eventually affect the rest sooner or later.
  • And some day, sooner or later, it will have a leader who acknowledges that fact with pride.
  • Marissa glared at him hoping that maybe he'd get the hint sooner or later and finally stop.

Derivatives

soonish

adverb
More example sentences
  • I'm going to cut over to them soonish, and I want to share my good fortune with you (with apologies to Allan, but I'm sure he'll understand).
  • Since the majority (though not by any stretch all) of my friends have either turned 30 in the last few years or are about to soonish, I figured I'd do the same.
  • I guess the clocks must be going forward soonish…

Origin

Old English sōna 'immediately'.

Usage

In standard English, the phrase no sooner is followed by than, as in we had no sooner arrived than we had to leave . This is because sooner is a comparative, and comparatives are followed by than ( earlier than ; better than , etc.). It is incorrect to follow no sooner with when rather than than, as in we had no sooner arrived when we had to leave .

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