im·​me·​di·​ate | \ i-ˈmē-dē-ət How to pronounce immediate (audio) , 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 For hundreds of thousands displaced by fighting, their needs are immediate and growing more acute by the day., 13 Sep. 2021 The impact that day on the business community was immediate. Edward Segal, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 Red flag warnings are immediate, which means that the dangerous conditions will occur within the next 24 hours. Danielle Echeverria, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Sep. 2021 Businesses have to respond to those swings in consumer preferences, and that process is not immediate. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 4 Sep. 2021 The benefit to the employee is immediate and obvious. Sudhir Agarwal, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 The biggest effect on comedy was immediate, and profound, and philosophically debilitating. Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 Death is not immediate, but comes later, often because of renal failure. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2021 The political impact of the bill will be immediate. Dallas News, 27 Aug. 2021

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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Learn More About immediate

Time Traveler for immediate

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near immediate



immediate constituent

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Statistics for immediate

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Immediate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce immediate (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on immediate

Nglish: Translation of immediate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of immediate for Arabic Speakers


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