Main definitions of now in English

: now1NOW2



  • 1At the present time or moment.

    ‘where are you living now?’
    ‘it's the most popular style of jazz right now’
    ‘not now, I'm late’
    after preposition ‘they should be back by now’
    • ‘So it seems right now that we are in a moment when the future is still unborn and the past is not quite dead.’
    • ‘We are now told by a previous owner of the cottage that the fields flood at least once a year.’
    • ‘Thanks to previous posters, I now have a general idea of what cultural studies is.’
    • ‘A large hall was built in Rathbane, which now echoes to the clack of timber for indoor hurling.’
    • ‘They operated on him this afternoon so hopefully he'll be fast asleep by now.’
    • ‘In my world view, this life we are living right now is all we have, and thus every moment of it should be enjoyed.’
    • ‘She quite likes me by now and I find she trails behind me like a lost puppy.’
    • ‘I find it ironic that now there is a campaign to give these places privileged tax status.’
    • ‘This switch is darkly ironic, because hippos are now much rarer than African elephants.’
    • ‘She omitted to mention that my son from my previous marriage now lives with me.’
    • ‘By now you will be impressed with the results of your workouts and training program.’
    • ‘In fact, it's only because of the current state of society that they can't do so right now.’
    • ‘I am not interested in coaching at the moment, and can't say right now if I ever will be.’
    • ‘Stafford Smith concedes that Britain is much more active now than in previous years.’
    • ‘Ironically one is now safer wandering the streets of Luxor than in many European cities.’
    • ‘Land that had once supported eight or nine different crops and animals now grew only one.’
    • ‘I'm now hoping that one of the Echo's readers can help return the item to its rightful owner.’
    • ‘There is an order about things now that never existed in the previous regime.’
    • ‘Jobs which may have previously required one man now often require two men to lift the glass into place.’
    • ‘The Daily Echo's findings are now in the hands of those responsible for our schools.’
    • ‘As a result, cases that were previously tried locally, now have to be taken to Chippenham.’
    at the moment, at present, just now, right now, at the present time, at the present moment, at this time, at this moment in time, currently, here and now
    nowadays, today, these days, in this day and age
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 At the time directly following the present moment; immediately.
      ‘if we leave now we can be home by ten’
      ‘I'd rather do it now than leave it till later’
      • ‘The hall requires care and attention now if it is to serve the community in the future.’
      • ‘It seems clear the board should now opt for a safe pair of hands to get the club back to the status its fans deserve.’
      • ‘This will now clear the way for the council to enter into a contract with the developer.’
      • ‘If you are nursing losses on Isas or other investments, on no account sell now.’
      • ‘It is why he won't delay making the decision about the direction his career will now take.’
      • ‘Book now for January, and the cream of the country crop is yours for the snaffling.’
      • ‘City of York Council must now go directly to the people of York, and ask them which system they want to see.’
      • ‘The group come from a range of different schools and will now be working hard to get the grades they need.’
      • ‘They are trying to pre-empt this decision by setting up a shadow board of directors now.’
      • ‘I'm now off to clear some furniture in readiness for workmen arriving early tomorrow.’
      • ‘So I'm off to update my blog now so follow the URL above to get my reflections on the past few days.’
      • ‘Crucial test events will now have to take place with construction workers on site.’
      • ‘Please put pressure on the council to clear it now, before the grass grows again.’
      • ‘Don't bury your head in the sand hoping it will go away, sort it out now before the situation gets worse.’
      • ‘It's not pleasant to contemplate, but if you sign up now you needn't consider it again.’
      • ‘Much of the company's effort will now be directed towards trying to retain the franchise.’
      • ‘Climate change is a global problem that needs addressing now for the sake of future generations.’
      • ‘The sender and receiver now carry out the following steps to ensure delivery of the present.’
      • ‘You should now see a different random header graphic each time you load this page.’
      • ‘Go through this and a wide tarmac lane is now followed straight ahead for the next half a mile or so all the way back to Disley.’
      • ‘Just what shape this will take under Gerbeau will now be the subject of heated discussion.’
      • ‘It is better to focus our attention on that now than to be distracted by anything else.’
      • ‘Talks will now be held to draw up blueprints for modern, accessible facilities for the town.’
      at once, straight away, right away, right now, this minute, this instant, immediately, instantly, directly, without further ado, without more ado, promptly, without delay, as soon as possible
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Under the present circumstances; as a result of something that has recently happened.
      ‘it is now clear that we should not pursue this policy’
      ‘I didn't receive the letter, but it hardly matters now’
      • ‘Whether it was actually any good or not scarcely matters now: it cheered a lot of people up in a grim time.’
      • ‘However, now it's clear this was the first stage in a plan to close them down.’
      • ‘From Foxwood, there are now four buses an hour to the Theatre Royal and hospital.’
      • ‘It is sadly ironic that now there may have to be a criminal investigation over a very similar matter.’
      • ‘York now go bottom with four clubs battling to avoid the two relegation places.’
      • ‘She has now had four seven-hour chemotherapy sessions in an attempt to shrink the cancer.’
      • ‘His promotion means there are now four MPs from Yorkshire and Humber in the Cabinet.’
      • ‘We know now that the length of the year is changing in the sixth decimal place over a person's lifetime.’
      • ‘There are now four galleries, and the pubs have been supplemented by dainty cafés.’
      • ‘He is now being referred by his family doctor to a specialist as a result of the tests.’
      • ‘We now have four paper millionaires this year, and it's all young guys out of universities.’
      • ‘Last year, a full-time warden was laid off and now there are just four people living there.’
      • ‘How long that majority will remain in current circumstances must now be open to doubt.’
      • ‘It is very clear now that the company is encouraging its employee to start blogging.’
      • ‘It is pretty clear now that he will not be returning to these shores.’
      • ‘I can see their expression and hear their tone of voice now, clear as anything.’
      • ‘Her condition has deteriorated recently, and she now struggles to walk up stairs.’
      • ‘Banstead are now unbeaten in four games, conceding just one goal in that time.’
      • ‘Banter or insults that in the past would have been brushed off with a smile or a riposte are now made a matter for the police.’
      • ‘The Villagers have now lost four matches and are down to fifth in the table.’
      • ‘Because he has been in custody since last July, Pickard will now be released in four months.’
      today, the present time, the here and now, this day and age, the present moment, the time being
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 On this further occasion, typically as the latest in a series of annoying situations or events.
      ‘what do you want now?’
      • ‘He is now refusing to come along because he wants his own event.’
    4. 1.4 Used to emphasize a particular length of time.
      ‘they've been married four years now’
      • ‘She had a severe stroke about four years ago now and lives in a nursing home.’
      • ‘To be honest I've been looking at this for a while now, but only recently decided to go for it.’
      • ‘I have had this metal frame on for four weeks now and have to wear it for another eight weeks.’
      • ‘For three or four days now New York has been enfolded in the soft grey light of winter.’
      • ‘My sleep pattern has been off for quite a while now, no matter how hard I try and set it back on the right track.’
      • ‘It's four weeks now since the offer, and all the steps are in place for the sale to proceed.’
      • ‘Ghost Rider is a project that I've been linked to for about four years now it seems.’
      • ‘It's been a disgrace for three or four years now and the residents and people who have to use it deserve better.’
      • ‘The idea of working with cabinets and objects has been on my mind for more than four years now.’
      • ‘He's been flirting with me for a few weeks now and has recently taken it up a step.’
      • ‘It has to be three or four years now since the double yellow lines were put in place!’
      • ‘I've lived here four months now, and still barely know the place, so went to the library.’
      • ‘It's down for an unprecedented length of time now and it's keeping people away from our centre.’
      • ‘He has been under effective house arrest for almost a year now, guarded by four police officers.’
      • ‘Lady Veronica had been the editor for four years now and before that she was sub-editor.’
      • ‘You've been awake for four seconds now and already your frame of reference has vanished.’
      • ‘Football has been a business for many years now but only recently has it been laid open.’
      • ‘Branch chair Andy Black has had MND for nearly four years now and is no longer able to walk.’
      • ‘I have been playing reserve team football for three, four years now and this is the next step up for me.’
      • ‘Eileen's been with the Princes Trust for four or five months now and she's very happy.’
    5. 1.5 (in a narrative or account of past events) at the time spoken of or referred to.
      ‘she was nineteen now, and she was alone’
      ‘it had happened three times now’
      • ‘She had now turned to look directly at her mother, who still held her by the shoulders.’
      • ‘The man who entered was not at all fazed by the anger that was now directed at him.’
      • ‘For a while it looked as if the ruin of the province of Britain would now ironically be achieved at Roman hands.’
      • ‘Down he went for the second time but it was clear now that he had nothing to keep his dangerous predator at bay.’
      • ‘Saria has lied about things relating to him in the past and now Miriam and Paul both lied to get Paul in the frame.’
      • ‘He had shuffled to the edge and was now standing directly above her with a smirk on his face.’
      • ‘Max ignored that remark, on his third mouthful now, but he spoke after he swallowed.’
      • ‘As Carl glanced over his shoulder he instantly recognised the man now following them.’
      • ‘Cookery books became ever more numerous, directed now at servants as well as housewives.’
      • ‘Up until then Callum had just been sitting quietly watching the bookworm, but now he spoke up.’
      • ‘We were on course now, following the postage stamp sign and heading straight for the museum.’
      • ‘The cell he was in now was no different from the one he had been in before.’
      • ‘It was a different woman who now confidently walked into the consulting room.’
      • ‘It had rained continuously for the previous two days, but the sun was out now and the forecast good.’
      • ‘Of course, it was now clear that misleading me was the whole point of this little game.’
      • ‘The first had said two thousand, the second four and now a third too was having a go.’
      • ‘The problem now, as the directors of the group saw it, was how to get rid of Clarke.’
      • ‘Trays of pills were now delivered in clear bags, so couriers were able to check labels.’
      • ‘I frowned at my brother as he clutched his suitcase to his chest and walked past me, now not daring to look at me.’
      • ‘What Ken said about her was true, but she was over him now, and just recently, too.’
  • 2Used, especially in conversation, to draw attention to a particular statement or point in a narrative.

    ‘now, my first impulse was to run away’
    ‘I don't like Scotch. Now, if it had been Irish Whiskey you'd offered me’
  • 3Used in or as a request, instruction, or question, typically to give a slight emphasis to one's words.

    ‘we can hardly send her back, now can we?’
    ‘run along now’
    ‘now, if you'll excuse me?’
    • ‘Ok so this is fact and many of us bear the marks of those conquests but now answer this question.’
    • ‘Will those who were duped into believing Galloway was speaking for them now come out and say he no longer does?’
    • ‘With these points in mind, consider now some sentences with the word photograph.’
    • ‘I now write to request those who have not yet responded to do so as soon as possible.’
    1. 3.1 Used when pausing or considering one's next words.
      ‘let me see now, oh yes, I remember’
  • 4Used at the end of an ironic question echoing a previous statement.

    ‘“Mom says for you to give me some of your stamps.” “Does she now?”’


  • As a consequence of the fact.

    ‘they spent a lot of time together now that he had retired’
    ‘now that you mention it, I haven't seen her around for ages’
    • ‘So now you know the words to our song, pretty soon you'll all be singing along.’
    • ‘Lee Ryan is happy that he is free to speak his mind now that he is embarking on a solo career apart from Blue.’
    • ‘It's farcical situation, more so now that so many clubs are living hand to mouth.’
    • ‘Will he be prompted to give up his criminal activities now that he can afford to live in luxury?’
    • ‘Right, I will just ask Miss Weekes to lead the questions now that we have reconvened.’
    • ‘Blighty is sure that now he's drawn attention to it the English fans will leave him alone.’
    • ‘Presumably now the formaldehyde has cleared from his brain, he has woken up to the meaning of what he said.’


  • Fashionable or up to date.

    ‘seventies disco dancing—very now’
    • ‘Zen perfection: it's so very Fifties, so very now.’


  • for now

    • Until a later time.

      ‘that's all the news there is for now’
      • ‘But for now, it is the angry voices of Britain's inner cities which are being heard the loudest.’
      • ‘Maybe I'd find my own ground someday, but for now I am too much in love with the vagabond in me.’
      • ‘I promise I'll write to you when I get a chance but for now I'll only speak to you in my mind.’
      • ‘But he says the five-year sentences were strict enough to get the right message across for now.’
      • ‘Only a series of eleventh-hour conversations persuaded him to hold his fire - at least for now.’
      • ‘So for now, the gym will do just fine. I must like it - I even went in on my day off!’
      • ‘I am naturally intense and a poor sleeper, but for now I have ceased to suffer from insomnia.’
      • ‘I'm told that one of the rules of being a lady is to avoid revealing everything all at once, so I'll leave it at this for now.’
      • ‘So please dispose of rubbish thoughtfully, and keep it to the minimum for now.’
      • ‘The mailing address post office box will remain open for now, until other arrangements are made.’
      for the time being, for the moment, for the present, for the meantime, for a little while
      View synonyms
  • now and again (or then)

    • From time to time.

      • ‘You will need to top up with chicken stock every now and then to stop it drying out.’
      • ‘They do this by going back to the consumers every now and then with an increase in fees.’
      • ‘Politics is not the sole focus of this blog, but the subject does pop up now and again.’
      • ‘My only complaint is that the bouncers seem to get a little picky on the dress code now and then.’
      • ‘As well as just watching a video it is a good idea to pause it every now and then and make notes on any facts you didn't know.’
      • ‘Do not use it as a major cooking oil, but you can use it now and then for flavoring.’
      • ‘Every now and then, something came up which would completely knock you sideways.’
      • ‘He may come across as a bit doddery now and then, but when it comes to his one true passion the brain is as sharp as ever.’
      • ‘I will watch over you from the sidelines and perhaps, now and then, venture a comment.’
      • ‘Do either of you have the urge to break out and be the centre of attention now and then?’
      occasionally, now and then, from time to time, sometimes, every so often, now and again, every now and again, at times, on occasion, on occasions, on the odd occasion, once in a while, every once in a while
      View synonyms
  • now now

    • Used as an expression of mild remonstrance.

      ‘now now, that's not the way to behave’
      • ‘Now now now, Ryan, what are you doing, trying to get yourself killed?’
      • ‘Now now, don't get carried away, sir.’
      • ‘Oh now now Mrs. Farmer Bob, you're hyperventilating, here, let me help you sit back up.’
  • now —, now —

    • At one moment —, at the next —

      ‘a wind whipped about the house, now this way, now that’
  • now or never

    • Used to convey urgency.

      ‘it was now or never—I had to move fast’
      • ‘But at that moment in the hospital, I knew it was now or never.’
      • ‘It was the last day of her trip, and it was now or never.’
      • ‘Friends of the Earth GM campaigner Clare Oxborrow said: ‘It really is now or never if we want to stop the introduction of GM crops in this country.’’
      • ‘In some cases they have worked in a job they hated for years and they realise it is now or never if they want to do something more meaningful with their lives.’
      • ‘But the problem that I face now is that I think we are so deep into this - we are so far down this road - that it is now or never.’
      • ‘With the veterans gone, it is now or never for Pressley.’
      • ‘I decided I wanted to do something creative, and it was now or never.’
      • ‘It's now or never, the land must be returned to the people.’
      • ‘On the one hand we might never again have the chance; it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, now or never.’
      • ‘It's now or never for his generation of republicans.’
  • now then

    • 1Used to get someone's attention or to invite a response.

      ‘now then, who's for a coffee?’
    • 2Used as an expression of mild remonstrance or warning.

      ‘now then, Emily, I think Sarah has suffered enough’
      • ‘Now then now then guys and gals, I'll give you two points for the name of the song and five points for the name of the band.’
      • ‘Now then, now then - Sir Jimmy Savile OBE is all set to help Otley's Christmas lights switch-on a much brighter affair this year.’
  • now you're talking

    • Used to express one's enthusiastic agreement with or approval of a statement or suggestion.

      ‘The Beatles! Now you're talking!’


Old English nū, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nu, German nun, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin nunc and Greek nun.




Main definitions of now in English

: now1NOW2


  • National Organization for Women.