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 As of Tuesday evening, even though Beilein stepping down was a mere formality, multiple coaches on staff hadn’t received an official update on Beilein’s immediate future, sources say. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers, John Beilein expected to part ways on Wednesday; J.B. Bickerstaff to take over," 19 Feb. 2020 Requiring immediate water quality testing and public notice after incidents such as a shoreline collapse. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Groups to city: Protect Detroit River, drinking water from shoreline collapses," 18 Feb. 2020 The request comes as lawmakers and the governor are looking to expand the agency even further, sponsoring bills that would bolster the agency’s firefighting capabilities and forest restoration work – above and beyond the immediate budget requests. USA TODAY, "Tombstone gunfight, sparkler spoiler, no superbloom: News from around our 50 states," 18 Feb. 2020 One immediate problem is that any ASPIRE partnership aimed at turning around failing schools would need to be fast-tracked. Krista Torralva,, "Rule changes might affect school partnerships in San Antonio," 17 Feb. 2020 The United Nations humanitarian office in Cameroon has called for immediate investigations into the latest attacks. Edwin Kindzeka Moki,, "Latest Cameroon fighting kills at least 22, including children," 17 Feb. 2020 Osterholm notes that there are 153 medicines people need immediate access to in life-threatening situations. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "“The disruption is enormous.” Coronavirus epidemic snarls science worldwide," 17 Feb. 2020 The outcry was swift and immediate, with protesters showing up at airports and many Republicans criticizing the decision. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "How the Trump Administration Uses the “Hidden Weapons” of Immigration Law," 13 Feb. 2020 High fashion is a manifestation of the immediate zeitgeist: call it a mood ring, or a way to read the tea leaves of larger culture. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for immediate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for immediate

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Immediate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for immediate


How to pronounce immediate (audio)

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

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