im·​me·​di·​ate | \ i-ˈmē-dē-ət , British often -ˈmē-jit\

Definition of immediate

1a : occurring, acting, or accomplished without loss or interval of time : instant an immediate need
b(1) : near to or related to the present the immediate past
(2) : of or relating to the here and now : current too busy with immediate concerns to worry about the future
2a : existing without intervening space or substance brought into immediate contact
b : being near at hand the immediate neighborhood
3 : being next in line or relation the immediate family
4a : acting or being without the intervention of another object, cause, or agency : direct the immediate cause of death
b : present to the mind independently of other states or factors immediate awareness
c : involving or derived from a single premise an immediate inference
5 : directly touching or concerning a person or thing the child's immediate world is the classroom

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Examples of immediate in a Sentence

This requires your immediate attention. The new restaurant was an immediate success. This crisis calls for immediate action. The response to the crisis was immediate. The wildfire poses no immediate threat to any houses in the area. The danger is not immediate. They have evacuated everyone in the immediate area of the wildfire. Many people suffered in the war's immediate aftermath. The effect of the new policy will be unknown for the immediate future. He was sitting to my immediate right.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After Bolton announced this week the U.S. pullout would not be as immediate as Trump had initially declared, U.S. allies were still seeking clarification from American diplomats. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Turkey slams US request for assurances on Syrian Kurds," 8 Jan. 2019 Someone tried to grab his wallet from a back pocket, and his immediate reaction was to reach for the thief. Gustavo Ocando Alex, miamiherald, "With little public transportation, Venezuelans resort to dangerous, illegal ‘kennels’ to get around," 12 July 2018 There was no immediate reaction from Pompeo or other administration officials to Pyongyang’s more gloomy accounting of the talks. Tracy Wilkinson,, "North Korea accuses U.S. of making 'unilateral' demands in nuclear talks," 7 July 2018 The more immediate impact has been a huge hit to emerging markets. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The China Story That Is Far Bigger Than Apple," 4 Jan. 2019 Video of the McDonald shooting also had an immediate impact on the city’s politics. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Jason Van Dyke’s trial for the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald, explained," 5 Oct. 2018 In the immediate aftermath of the accident, this pushed TEPCO's finances to a very bad place. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "An insider’s perspective on Fukushima and everything that came after," 5 Oct. 2018 However, legal experts tell Fox News, the immediate impact of any delay filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court may be minimal. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Supreme Court set to begin new term with empty seat amid Kavanaugh uncertainty," 24 Sep. 2018 But as Cincinnati leaders condemn the act, new body cam footage reveals what the officer said in the immediate aftermath. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "The Off-Duty Cop Who Tased an 11-Year-Old Said "This Is Why There's No Grocery Stores in the Black Community"," 6 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of immediate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

History and Etymology for immediate

Middle English immediat, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin immediatus, from Latin in- + Late Latin mediatus intermediate — more at mediate

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Statistics for immediate

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for immediate

The first known use of immediate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for immediate



English Language Learners Definition of immediate

: happening or done without delay
: happening or existing now
: important now


im·​me·​di·​ate | \ i-ˈmē-dē-ət \

Kids Definition of immediate

1 : happening without any delay I need immediate help.
2 : occurring or existing now There is no immediate danger.
3 : having importance now Our immediate concern is getting help.
4 : not far away in time or space the immediate future the immediate area
5 : being next in line or nearest in relationship My immediate family includes my parents, brothers, and sisters.
6 : having nothing between The room is to your immediate right.


im·​me·​di·​ate | \ im-ˈēd-ē-ət, British often -ˈē-jit\

Medical Definition of immediate

1a : acting or being without the intervention of another object, cause, or agency : being direct the immediate cause of death
b : present to the mind independently of other states or factors immediate awareness
2 : made or done at once

Other Words from immediate

immediately adverb

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Comments on immediate

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excited commotion or publicity

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