Definition of immediate in English:

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Pronunciation: /iˈmēdēət/


1Occurring or done at once; instant: the authorities took no immediate action the book’s success was immediate
More example sentences
  • This in turn has triggered the disappearance of a system of symbols that once enabled immediate identification of a woman's status.
  • Brown's response to this fundamental problem was immediate, once it had been brought to his attention.
  • However, these concepts are introduced all at once with no immediate application for the student.
instant, instantaneous, swift, prompt, fast, speedy, rapid, brisk, quick, expeditious;
sudden, hurried, hasty, precipitate
informal snappy
1.1Relating to or existing at the present time: the immediate concern was how to avoid taxes
More example sentences
  • Get people to voice their immediate current concerns or questions.
  • This kind of analysis is really just the product of a false hindsight that tends to see the past through the lenses of the immediate present.
  • More than the big picture, look at the immediate, present needs.
current, present, existing, actual;
urgent, pressing, exigent
2Nearest in time, relationship, or rank: a funeral with only the immediate family in attendance
More example sentences
  • Confident in their ability to manager without state support, and close to their immediate family, they tend to live in towns in the more prosperous Southern and Midland towns.
  • He said about seven of the boy's immediate family and close friends had been given antibiotics.
  • Both weddings have had about 30 guests - just immediate family and close friends - and both have used restaurants for their reception.
recent, not long past, just gone, latest
2.1Nearest or next to in space: roads in the immediate vicinity of the port
More example sentences
  • He also disputed the number of car parking spaces, which reputedly would be available in the immediate vicinity of the licensed premises.
  • I make an attempt to fight the heavy-duty gravity imposed upon the immediate space around my body, and ease myself out of the bed.
  • Actually, a baby lives in, and loves, her immediate space.
nearest, near, close, closest, next-door;
adjacent, adjoining, contiguous
2.2(Of a relation or action) without an intervening medium or agency; direct: coronary thrombosis was the immediate cause of death
More example sentences
  • It further held, allowing the Commissioners' appeal, that on the facts the requisite ‘direct and immediate link’ was not established.
  • ‘So far in museum exhibitions, the visitor was not placed in immediate contact with the past,’ he wrote.
  • The immediate connection between the ‘Void’ and our conceptions of chaos may not be explicit to many readers.
direct, primary
3 Philosophy (Of knowledge or reaction) gained or shown without reasoning; intuitive.
Example sentences
  • Hume had shown that no immediate knowledge of causes is possible, for we have no impression of necessary connection.
  • Knowledge that is immediate may supply the premises for the inference of further knowledge, but even immediate knowledge depends on coherence.
  • The notion allows Heidegger to avoid giving primacy to non-theoretical immediate experience.



Pronunciation: /iˈmēdēətnəs/
Example sentences
  • The new writing space carries the promise of networks of communication through the intuitive immediateness of the Word.
  • Like her other work, it is rich with observation and flights of language, revealing how this sensibility is malleable enough to adapt to the death-row murderess without sacrificing its immediateness and power.
  • Although he stresses specificity and immediateness, his analysis shows the interconnections among labor, the trade unions, and political parties.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'nearest in space or order'): from Old French immediat, or from late Latin immediatus, from in- 'not' + mediatus 'intervening', past participle of mediare (see mediate).

Words that rhyme with immediate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: im·me·di·ate

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