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 The seven-day average infection rate in the U.S. has risen from 22,000 in early July to over 100,000 cases presently. Trefis Team, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 With six races left in his 2021 F2 campaign, Lundgaard presently sits 11th with three more podiums thus far. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Oct. 2021 In the United States, nearly 107,000 people are presently waiting for organ transplants, including more than 90,000 awaiting a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Reuters, CNN, 20 Oct. 2021 In the United States, nearly 107,000 people are presently waiting for organ transplants, including more than 90,000 awaiting a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. NBC News, 20 Oct. 2021 If Tagovailoa was the only problem — or even a problem — it could be thought this team is a quarterback away, igniting those trade rumors, but no quarterback alone is turning around this team as presently constructed. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, 19 Oct. 2021 The band, which presently comprises the husband-and-wife duo of singer-guitarist Alan Sparhawk and singer-percussionist Mimi Parker, could only remain idle for so long. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 1 Oct. 2021 The company has grown from 70 employees in March to more than 200 presently. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2021 In the United States there are presently 39 operating proton centers and 17 more in the planning or construction stage. Richard Lehmann, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021

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

Time Traveler for presently

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near presently

presentism

presently

presentment

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for presently

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Presently.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/presently. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

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 : now
: after a short time : soon

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 the Great
2 : at the present time : now She's presently at home.

More from Merriam-Webster on presently

Nglish: Translation of presently for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!