Definition of soon in English:


Line breaks: soon
Pronunciation: /suːn


  • 2Used to indicate one’s preference in a particular matter: I’d just as soon Tim did it I’d sooner stay where I am
    More example sentences
    • That was one of those race days I’d just as soon forget.
    • I would as soon die as suffer that.
    rather, by preference, preferably, from/by choice, more willingly, more readily; North American if I had my druthers


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.

sooner rather than later

Before much time has gone by: I would be grateful if you would come to your senses sooner rather than later
More example sentences
  • According to the lead story in today's Independent it's just as well I'm going sooner rather than later.
  • By next spring that mood may grow a good deal more impatient to try out this promised new era of good governance sooner rather than later.
  • Gilbert is cautiously optimistic that the acquisition will be earnings positive sooner rather than later.



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…


Old English sōna 'immediately', of West Germanic origin.


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 , and so on). 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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