- 1At the present time; now: there are presently 1,128 people on the waiting listMore 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.
- 2After a short time; soon: this will be examined in more detail presentlyMore example sentences
soon, shortly, directly, quite soon, in a short time, in a short/little while, at any moment/minute/second, in a moment/minute/second, in less than no time (at all), in next to no time, before long, by and by; North American momentarily; South African just now• informal pretty soon, any moment now, before you know it, before you can say Jack Robinson, in a jiffy, in two shakes of a lamb's tailBritish • informal in a mo• archaic or • informal anon• literary ere long
- 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.
Presently can mean both ‘now, at this moment’ and ‘soon’. Both senses go back to the Middle Ages. The former sense fell into disfavour between the 17th and 20th centuries and some traditionalists still object to it, but it is widely used and generally regarded as acceptable standard English.