Definition of presently in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprez(ə)ntlē/


1After a short time; soon: this will be examined in more detail presently
More example sentences
  • I was soon lost in my thoughts again, and presently fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.
  • I intend to deal in some greater detail with the decision of the Supreme Court presently.
  • The computer this is being typed on will presently be packed into its shipping box, stuck in a truck for several days, and then a garage for a month.
soon, shortly, directly, quite soon, in a short time, in a little while, at any moment/minute/second, in next to no time, before long, momentarily
informal pretty soon, any moment now, in a jiffy, in two shakes of a lamb's tail
literary ere long
2At the present time; now: there are presently 1,128 people on the waiting list
More example sentences
  • Mr Parrott said he hopes the new building will be open soon as presently the group has nowhere regular to meet.
  • Steve Finn, a seasoned television director, is presently working on his feature debut.
  • Most of the directors are presently siding with Georgine in covering up the report.
currently, at present, at the/this moment, at the present moment/time, now, nowadays, these days


In the pain will lessen presently, the meaning of presently is ‘soon.’ In limited resources are presently available, the meaning is ‘at this moment, now.’ Both senses date back to the Middle Ages, but the second sense fell into disfavor between the 17th and 20th centuries. Although some traditionalists still object to it, the ‘now’ sense is widely used and generally regarded as acceptable standard English.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pres·ent·ly

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