im·​me·​di·​a·​cy | \ i-ˈmē-dē-ə-sē How to pronounce immediacy (audio) , British often -ˈmē-jə-sē \
plural immediacies

Definition of immediacy

1 : the quality or state of being immediate
2 : something that is immediate usually used in plural

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of immediacy in a Sentence

Television coverage gave the war greater immediacy than it had ever before had. There is an immediacy to watching a live performance that you cannot get from hearing a recording.
Recent Examples on the Web Behind the Allure of Online Dating As with most 21st century advancements in technology, the modern wave of digital dating has improved in the areas of convenience and immediacy. Jeremy Burgess, al, "How dating apps have altered the course of modern courtship," 6 Feb. 2020 Much of the art of The Birth of a Nation owes to cinema’s unique sense of you-are-there immediacy. Armond White, National Review, "1917: War as Video Game and Ceremony," 17 Jan. 2020 Whether in fiction or in essays, Bryan Washington writes with style and immediacy. The Atlantic, "The 15 Best Books of 2019," 24 Dec. 2019 But there’s a loss of immediacy in one’s experience. Washington Post, "Elizabeth Spencer, ‘Light In the Piazza’ author, dies at 98," 24 Dec. 2019 Written in 1970, this blueprint rang with emotional immediacy. Jason Loviglio, The Conversation, "NPR is still expanding the range of what authority sounds like after 50 years," 6 Dec. 2019 The trend seems to reflect a shift in the language surrounding climate change, with an emphasis on the seriousness of the current situation and a greater sense of immediacy in addressing it. Denise Chow, NBC News, "'Climate emergency' is Oxford Dictionaries' 2019 word of the year," 21 Nov. 2019 There are tears onstage, as well, at the end of the first part, in a moment that brings a flesh-and-blood immediacy to the memory of those lost. Joshua Barone, New York Times, "What Generations of Gay Men Hand Down in ‘The Inheritance’," 25 Oct. 2019 The dazzle adds to the overall tenor of ripe immediacy, but also situates the scenes in the stylized past of memory — or perhaps ’70s television. Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times, "In Laura Krifka’s paintings, you’re the voyeur looking in with naked attraction," 2 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'immediacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of immediacy

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about immediacy

Time Traveler for immediacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of immediacy was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Statistics for immediacy

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Immediacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for immediacy


How to pronounce immediacy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of immediacy

: the quality that makes something seem important or interesting because it is or seems to be happening now

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on immediacy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for immediacy

Spanish Central: Translation of immediacy

Nglish: Translation of immediacy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on immediacy

What made you want to look up immediacy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!