Definition of immediate in English:



  • 1Occurring or done at once; instant.

    ‘the authorities took no immediate action’
    ‘the book's success was immediate’
    • ‘However, these concepts are introduced all at once with no immediate application for the student.’
    • ‘Physiological recordings from the central nervous system indicate that the response is almost immediate with a very short latency.’
    • ‘The advertisement showed no recognition that immediate gratification usually presents a bill, with extortionate interest.’
    • ‘Do we not have the technology to make a deodorant immediate and long-lasting?’
    • ‘I was instantly smitten with the immediate gratification.’
    • ‘The most immediate impact is the rapid water and solute loss caused by tissue damage.’
    • ‘What were the immediate reactions of the students in the aftermath of September 11?’
    • ‘If your child is very dehydrated, she needs immediate medical attention.’
    • ‘Don't try to make it happen all at once and expect immediate physical change.’
    • ‘This was the blunt message delivered at a public meeting on Friday last, a message which prompted the immediate establishment of an action group to save the historic house.’
    • ‘I think there is more immediate gratification with this.’
    • ‘Brown's response to this fundamental problem was immediate, once it had been brought to his attention.’
    • ‘As a result, our impact was almost immediate.’
    • ‘Anyone caught breaching the ‘yellow card’ will face immediate arrest and an instant sentence of three months.’
    • ‘There is no question but that the impact of this on confidence will be immediate.’
    • ‘One immediate practical effect in the area of residential care could be an increase in insurance premiums.’
    • ‘Their response was almost immediate and crucially telling.’
    • ‘But at that time, see, it's all about instant gratification, immediate gratification.’
    • ‘Somebody who has collapsed as a result of a cardiac arrest needs immediate attention.’
    • ‘This in turn has triggered the disappearance of a system of symbols that once enabled immediate identification of a woman's status.’
    instant, instantaneous, on-the-spot, prompt, swift, speedy, rapid, quick, expeditious
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    1. 1.1Relating to or existing at the present time.
      ‘the immediate concern was how to avoid taxes’
      • ‘Motown execs are right about one thing: there's little immediate threat of a financial collapse.’
      • ‘This kind of analysis is really just the product of a false hindsight that tends to see the past through the lenses of the immediate present.’
      • ‘And once the immediate conflict was over, why did he disappear?’
      • ‘The world's populations live in the present, and their immediate needs have to be addressed.’
      • ‘They are hopeful however that once the immediate uncertainty abates there would be a quick return of consumer confidence.’
      • ‘Of more immediate concern is what banks need to do when presented with a freezing order.’
      • ‘Get people to voice their immediate current concerns or questions.’
      • ‘Adams, who has two children in primary school, feels there has to be radical overhaul of the way council services are organised once this immediate crisis is over.’
      • ‘The Rural Forum aims to find long-term ways of re-building a strong, sustainable and more diverse rural economy, once the immediate farming crisis has been dealt with.’
      • ‘Once the immediate impact of the flooding has passed, the government, the opposition and the media will drop their feigned concern and leave the victims to their fate.’
      • ‘Kaizen appears particularly successful in shaping commitment once the immediate threat to jobs has disappeared.’
      • ‘Last Thursday, a high-profile military booster in Congress suddenly shattered the conventional wisdom that immediate withdrawal is unthinkable.’
      • ‘The court heard the infestation presented an immediate risk of injury to health.’
      • ‘More than the big picture, look at the immediate, present needs.’
      • ‘Although it is stressful for babies to cry alone, there is no evidence that crying in a parent's arras is harmful, once all immediate needs are met.’
      • ‘There are big issues of governance, debt, aid, trade and development that will have to be addressed once the immediate crisis management is over.’
      • ‘The prisoner's continued liberty or, as the case may be, immediate release, would present an unacceptable risk to the public of further offences being committed.’
      • ‘In the meantime, the defendant is released on her own recognizance, as she presents no immediate threat to the artistic community.’
      • ‘I would have told her more - or maybe I couldn't have - but I knew nothing beyond the immediate present.’
      • ‘Mr Gill said there would be no speedy return to normality once the immediate foot and mouth crisis is over.’
      current, present, existing, existent, actual, extant
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  • 2Nearest in time, relationship, or rank.

    ‘no changes are envisaged in the immediate future’
    ‘his immediate superior in the department’
    • ‘Though they portrayed an ebullient mix of hope and despair about the immediate and distant future of ecology, there was also a wealth of information on how to overcome the problems.’
    • ‘You're very close with your immediate family in Brussels.’
    • ‘What kind of relationships have you established with the immediate families, relatives and friends of the victims?’
    • ‘Both candidates are looking to history and not to the immediate present.’
    • ‘However, the toilet block will be kept closed for the immediate future and a campaign will be mounted to ensure the toilets are returned to the use of law-abiding citizens.’
    • ‘Close and prolonged contact, such as that found within immediate families and households, is usually required for there to be any likelihood of the infection being spread.’
    • ‘It coexists with the real possibility of mainstream status, whether that status lies in the immediate past or near future.’
    • ‘We don't even know how we would get aid in the immediate aftermath.’
    • ‘All 13 members of his immediate family attended a memorial service in New York yesterday.’
    • ‘Both weddings have had about 30 guests - just immediate family and close friends - and both have used restaurants for their reception.’
    • ‘As daylight drew close, she began to think about the immediate future.’
    • ‘Confident in their ability to manager without state support, and close to their immediate family, they tend to live in towns in the more prosperous Southern and Midland towns.’
    • ‘There will be some plenary sessions as well as time for the presentation of papers from outside the immediate concerns of the organisers.’
    • ‘He said about seven of the boy's immediate family and close friends had been given antibiotics.’
    • ‘Close ties with immediate and extended families are an important aspect of Colombian life, providing support in many aspects of life.’
    • ‘She knew that she shouldn't trust anyone outside of her immediate family or tiny group of close friends.’
    • ‘In the more immediate future, the company has a few twists on the way.’
    • ‘I hope it's my immediate family and some close friends and a keg of beer.’
    • ‘I'm very close to my immediate family, with the exception of my father’
    • ‘He longs to return to the country of his birth, but he knows that there is no immediate future for him or his family there.’
    recent, not long past, just gone
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    1. 2.1Nearest or next to in space.
      ‘roads in the immediate vicinity of the port’
      • ‘They use gestures, exaggerated voices, or pronouncements to represent things that are not present in the immediate environment.’
      • ‘Copulations were observed on three occasions, all in the immediate vicinity of nests.’
      • ‘Actually, a baby lives in, and loves, her immediate space.’
      • ‘There is only one coffee bar in the immediate area, for instance.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, all of them fall in our immediate or near proximity, and we happen to be vulnerable in any case.’
      • ‘I make an attempt to fight the heavy-duty gravity imposed upon the immediate space around my body, and ease myself out of the bed.’
      • ‘There were claims that an undercover security force team was operating in the immediate vicinity that night and helped ‘set up’ the three republicans.’
      • ‘There are schools, shops, restaurants and sports clubs in the immediate vicinity.’
      • ‘Martin created a bit of a barrier of folded space around his immediate vicinity.’
      • ‘They say a retreat in the immediate presence of the enemy is the most difficult of military maneuvers to pull off.’
      • ‘Rather it was a sense of living in the present, appreciating my immediate environment, and giving feelings equal footing with ideas.’
      • ‘He also disputed the number of car parking spaces, which reputedly would be available in the immediate vicinity of the licensed premises.’
      • ‘Fortunately, there were no other vehicles or pedestrians in the immediate vicinity at the time as the trailer glided across the road and became embedded in a stone wall.’
      • ‘‘All of the damage was confined to the barge and the very immediate vicinity, within yards,’ Mr Bloomberg said.’
      • ‘Pedestrians, drivers and pets have been hurt and killed in the immediate vicinity of my home and I am happy that the changes will slow down all vehicles and increase the safety of every road user.’
      • ‘The ban forbids smoking anywhere which is considered council property, including the Guildhall yard and in the immediate vicinity of authority buildings.’
      • ‘It's not extensive enough and talking to people in the immediate vicinity is not sufficient.’
      • ‘To date I am still receiving complaints from residents and workers in the immediate vicinity that the smell at times is overpowering and unbearable.’
      • ‘At our feet stretched a shimmering sheet of water, its surface, in our immediate vicinity, black with countless gondolas, the men standing up in them clamouring loudly for custom.’
      • ‘Individually, stones help us focus on a particular energy, by wearing them or enjoying their presence in our immediate environment.’
      nearest, near, close, closest, next-door
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    2. 2.2(of a relation or action) without an intervening medium or agency; direct.
      ‘coronary thrombosis was the immediate cause of death’
      • ‘The imitation did not represent the thing but was the thing and replaced the thing's immediate presence.’
      • ‘The immediate connection between the ‘Void’ and our conceptions of chaos may not be explicit to many readers.’
      • ‘Many historians working in Germany today have judged that that educative effort had little immediate effect on popular attitudes.’
      • ‘E-mails and mobiles make everything immediate and we are expected to do things immediately.’
      • ‘Where there is not immediate presence, account must be taken of the possibility of alterations in the circumstances, for which the defendant should not be responsible.’
      • ‘The national department of the environment and tourism said this material did not present an immediate danger to the environment as it was well-packed.’
      • ‘Not so long ago, art galleries were often full of people looking at recognisable objects for which they felt an immediate connection.’
      • ‘It further held, allowing the Commissioners' appeal, that on the facts the requisite ‘direct and immediate link’ was not established.’
      • ‘The writer's deployment of language might be delightfully immediate, even teasingly trivial.’
      • ‘Carbohydrates are the ones to watch here - since fats and proteins have little immediate effect on blood sugar.’
      • ‘The ticking of the new clock was an immediate presence in the dark bedroom.’
      • ‘But it has also presented an immediate and magnified picture of what war means on the ground, removed from any wider context of the political ends being pursued.’
      • ‘The adult males' roars are often so loud and startling that first-time visitors are convinced they are in the immediate presence of a jaguar.’
      • ‘‘So far in museum exhibitions, the visitor was not placed in immediate contact with the past,’ he wrote.’
      • ‘This work brought her into immediate contact with those just surviving.’
      • ‘But what I felt was the kind of fear that comes from being in the immediate presence of great evil.’
      • ‘Catholicism, then, knows immediate presence rather than symbolism.’
      • ‘It is a story that would be lacking without the immediate presence of the actress right there with you, telling you a tale with her whole being.’
      • ‘The lesson is that, while all sorts of moments of illumination can occur, it is not to be expected that knowing this God will be instantaneous or immediate.’
      • ‘The abolitionist movement developed primarily in the nations of Western Europe and their overseas offshoots, often without the immediate presence of legal slavery.’
      direct, primary
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  • 3Philosophy
    (of knowledge or reaction) gained or shown without reasoning; intuitive.

    • ‘The notion allows Heidegger to avoid giving primacy to non-theoretical immediate experience.’
    • ‘Heidegger grounded his philosophy in phenomenology, the close examination of the given field of immediate experience.’
    • ‘Hume had shown that no immediate knowledge of causes is possible, for we have no impression of necessary connection.’
    • ‘A second feature of Kantian intuition is that it yields immediate knowledge.’
    • ‘Knowledge that is immediate may supply the premises for the inference of further knowledge, but even immediate knowledge depends on coherence.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘nearest in space or order’): from Old French immediat, or from late Latin immediatus, from in- not + mediatus intervening, past participle of mediare (see mediate).