presently

adverb
pres·​ent·​ly | \ ˈpre-zᵊnt-lē How to pronounce presently (audio) \

Definition of presently

1a archaic : at once
b : without undue delay : before long
2 : at the present time : now

Keep scrolling for more

Usage of Presently

Both senses 1b and 2 are flourishing in current English, but many commentators have objected to sense 2. Since this sense has been in continuous use since the 15th century, it is not clear why it is objectionable. Perhaps a note in the Oxford English Dictionary (1909) that the sense has been obsolete since the 17th century in literary English is to blame, but the note goes on to observe that the sense is in regular use in most English dialects. The last citation in that dictionary is from a 1901 Leeds newspaper, written in Standard English. Sense 2 is most common in contexts relating to business and politics. the fastest-rising welfare cost is Medicaid, presently paid by the states and cities — William Safire

Examples of presently in a Sentence

I cannot attend to the matter this instant, but I will presently. we are presently waiting in line for our turn

Recent Examples on the Web

Chip just posted a photo on Instagram of not just the girls, but the whole gang: Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, Chip Gaines, and Joanna Gaines are all presently hanging out together. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "Jennifer Lopez and Joanna Gaines Take Their Friendship to the Next Level in New Instagram Posts," 28 Apr. 2019 The hospital wasn't presently open but would reopen in the morning. Nicole Pajer, SELF, "What I Wish I’d Known Before Dealing With a Medical Emergency While Traveling Abroad," 15 Apr. 2019 Eliminating labor considerations on top of that would make urban agriculture among the most efficient means of growing vegetables presently studied. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Urban farms could be incredibly efficient—but aren’t yet," 27 Dec. 2018 Ann presently cured Mrs Pitt’s leg after a bad fall merely by stroking it, and soon became so famous that numerous people flocked to the house for cures from as far south as Land’s End, and as far north as London. Longreads, "Fairy Scapegoats: A History of the Persecution of Changeling Children," 9 June 2018 The court was unanimous in its order that the eight people presently on death row have their sentences converted to life in prison. Rachel La Corte, The Seattle Times, "Washington state ends ‘racially biased’ death penalty," 14 Oct. 2018 In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring. ... Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Trump dismisses the economic impact of climate change — except at his golf course," 27 Nov. 2018 These remnants would help bridge incompatible theories of the cosmos at its largest and smallest scales, as well as possibly constitute a sizable portion of the presently unaccounted-for dark matter. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 But flying requires an incredible amount of energy, and presently, batteries are too heavy and too expensive to achieve liftoff. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Electric flight is coming, but the batteries aren’t ready," 14 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'presently.' 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 presently

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about presently

Statistics for presently

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for presently

The first known use of presently was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for presently

presently

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of presently

: during the time that is happening now : at the present time
: after a short time

presently

adverb
pres·​ent·​ly | \ ˈpre-zᵊnt-lē How to pronounce presently (audio) \

Kids Definition of presently

1 : before long : soon He searched … for fallen limbs of trees; presently he found a … branch.— Virginia Hamilton, M. C. Higgins
2 : at the present time : now She's presently at home.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on presently

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for presently

Spanish Central: Translation of presently

Nglish: Translation of presently for Spanish Speakers

Comments on presently

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

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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