Main definitions of now in English

: now1NOW2

now1

adverb

  • 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’
    • ‘She quite likes me by now and I find she trails behind me like a lost puppy.’
    • ‘We are now told by a previous owner of the cottage that the fields flood at least once a year.’
    • ‘Land that had once supported eight or nine different crops and animals now grew only one.’
    • ‘In my world view, this life we are living right now is all we have, and thus every moment of it should be enjoyed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm now hoping that one of the Echo's readers can help return the item to its rightful owner.’
    • ‘In fact, it's only because of the current state of society that they can't do so right now.’
    • ‘Stafford Smith concedes that Britain is much more active now than in previous years.’
    • ‘I am not interested in coaching at the moment, and can't say right now if I ever will be.’
    • ‘Ironically one is now safer wandering the streets of Luxor than in many European cities.’
    • ‘Thanks to previous posters, I now have a general idea of what cultural studies is.’
    • ‘Jobs which may have previously required one man now often require two men to lift the glass into place.’
    • ‘By now you will be impressed with the results of your workouts and training program.’
    • ‘I find it ironic that now there is a campaign to give these places privileged tax status.’
    • ‘A large hall was built in Rathbane, which now echoes to the clack of timber for indoor hurling.’
    • ‘So it seems right now that we are in a moment when the future is still unborn and the past is not quite dead.’
    • ‘There is an order about things now that never existed in the previous regime.’
    • ‘As a result, cases that were previously tried locally, now have to be taken to Chippenham.’
    • ‘They operated on him this afternoon so hopefully he'll be fast asleep by now.’
    • ‘The Daily Echo's findings are now in the hands of those responsible for our schools.’
    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’
      • ‘You should now see a different random header graphic each time you load this page.’
      • ‘This will now clear the way for the council to enter into a contract with the developer.’
      • ‘Much of the company's effort will now be directed towards trying to retain the franchise.’
      • ‘The group come from a range of different schools and will now be working hard to get the grades they need.’
      • ‘I'm now off to clear some furniture in readiness for workmen arriving early tomorrow.’
      • ‘The sender and receiver now carry out the following steps to ensure delivery of the present.’
      • ‘Climate change is a global problem that needs addressing now for the sake of future generations.’
      • ‘Book now for January, and the cream of the country crop is yours for the snaffling.’
      • ‘Don't bury your head in the sand hoping it will go away, sort it out now before the situation gets worse.’
      • ‘Please put pressure on the council to clear it now, before the grass grows again.’
      • ‘Talks will now be held to draw up blueprints for modern, accessible facilities for the town.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are trying to pre-empt this decision by setting up a shadow board of directors now.’
      • ‘It's not pleasant to contemplate, but if you sign up now you needn't consider it again.’
      • ‘So I'm off to update my blog now so follow the URL above to get my reflections on the past few days.’
      • ‘City of York Council must now go directly to the people of York, and ask them which system they want to see.’
      • ‘It is why he won't delay making the decision about the direction his career will now take.’
      • ‘If you are nursing losses on Isas or other investments, on no account sell now.’
      • ‘Crucial test events will now have to take place with construction workers on site.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The hall requires care and attention now if it is to serve the community in the future.’
      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’
      • ‘She has now had four seven-hour chemotherapy sessions in an attempt to shrink the cancer.’
      • ‘Her condition has deteriorated recently, and she now struggles to walk up stairs.’
      • ‘From Foxwood, there are now four buses an hour to the Theatre Royal and hospital.’
      • ‘There are now four galleries, and the pubs have been supplemented by dainty cafés.’
      • ‘It is sadly ironic that now there may have to be a criminal investigation over a very similar matter.’
      • ‘I can see their expression and hear their tone of voice now, clear as anything.’
      • ‘Last year, a full-time warden was laid off and now there are just four people living there.’
      • ‘We now have four paper millionaires this year, and it's all young guys out of universities.’
      • ‘Because he has been in custody since last July, Pickard will now be released in four months.’
      • ‘He is now being referred by his family doctor to a specialist as a result of the tests.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Whether it was actually any good or not scarcely matters now: it cheered a lot of people up in a grim time.’
      • ‘How long that majority will remain in current circumstances must now be open to doubt.’
      • ‘However, now it's clear this was the first stage in a plan to close them down.’
      • ‘Banstead are now unbeaten in four games, conceding just one goal in that time.’
      • ‘It is pretty clear now that he will not be returning to these shores.’
      • ‘It is very clear now that the company is encouraging its employee to start blogging.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘York now go bottom with four clubs battling to avoid the two relegation places.’
      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’
      • ‘I have had this metal frame on for four weeks now and have to wear it for another eight weeks.’
      • ‘Eileen's been with the Princes Trust for four or five months now and she's very happy.’
      • ‘He has been under effective house arrest for almost a year now, guarded by four police officers.’
      • ‘Branch chair Andy Black has had MND for nearly four years now and is no longer able to walk.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To be honest I've been looking at this for a while now, but only recently decided to go for it.’
      • ‘I have been playing reserve team football for three, four years now and this is the next step up for me.’
      • ‘Lady Veronica had been the editor for four years now and before that she was sub-editor.’
      • ‘The idea of working with cabinets and objects has been on my mind for more than four years now.’
      • ‘It's down for an unprecedented length of time now and it's keeping people away from our centre.’
      • ‘She had a severe stroke about four years ago now and lives in a nursing home.’
      • ‘For three or four days now New York has been enfolded in the soft grey light of winter.’
      • ‘It has to be three or four years now since the double yellow lines were put in place!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've lived here four months now, and still barely know the place, so went to the library.’
      • ‘He's been flirting with me for a few weeks now and has recently taken it up a step.’
    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’
      • ‘Of course, it was now clear that misleading me was the whole point of this little game.’
      • ‘It had rained continuously for the previous two days, but the sun was out now and the forecast good.’
      • ‘Up until then Callum had just been sitting quietly watching the bookworm, but now he spoke up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We were on course now, following the postage stamp sign and heading straight for the museum.’
      • ‘Trays of pills were now delivered in clear bags, so couriers were able to check labels.’
      • ‘It was a different woman who now confidently walked into the consulting room.’
      • ‘I frowned at my brother as he clutched his suitcase to his chest and walked past me, now not daring to look at me.’
      • ‘The first had said two thousand, the second four and now a third too was having a go.’
      • ‘What Ken said about her was true, but she was over him now, and just recently, too.’
      • ‘For a while it looked as if the ruin of the province of Britain would now ironically be achieved at Roman hands.’
      • ‘The problem now, as the directors of the group saw it, was how to get rid of Clarke.’
      • ‘As Carl glanced over his shoulder he instantly recognised the man now following them.’
      • ‘The man who entered was not at all fazed by the anger that was now directed at him.’
      • ‘Max ignored that remark, on his third mouthful now, but he spoke after he swallowed.’
      • ‘She had now turned to look directly at her mother, who still held her by the shoulders.’
      • ‘Cookery books became ever more numerous, directed now at servants as well as housewives.’
      • ‘The cell he was in now was no different from the one he had been in before.’
  • 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?”’

conjunction

  • 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’
    • ‘Right, I will just ask Miss Weekes to lead the questions now that we have reconvened.’
    • ‘Presumably now the formaldehyde has cleared from his brain, he has woken up to the meaning of what he said.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Blighty is sure that now he's drawn attention to it the English fans will leave him alone.’
    • ‘Lee Ryan is happy that he is free to speak his mind now that he is embarking on a solo career apart from Blue.’
    • ‘So now you know the words to our song, pretty soon you'll all be singing along.’

adjective

informal
  • Fashionable or up to date.

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

Phrases

  • for now

    • Until a later time.

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

      • ‘Every now and then, something came up which would completely knock you sideways.’
      • ‘Do either of you have the urge to break out and be the centre of attention now and then?’
      • ‘You will need to top up with chicken stock every now and then to stop it drying out.’
      • ‘Politics is not the sole focus of this blog, but the subject does pop up now and again.’
      • ‘They do this by going back to the consumers every now and then with an increase in fees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My only complaint is that the bouncers seem to get a little picky on the dress code 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’
      • ‘Oh now now Mrs. Farmer Bob, you're hyperventilating, here, let me help you sit back up.’
      • ‘Now now now, Ryan, what are you doing, trying to get yourself killed?’
      • ‘Now now, don't get carried away, sir.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘I decided I wanted to do something creative, and it was now or never.’
      • ‘It's now or never for his generation of republicans.’
      • ‘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, the land must be returned to the people.’
      • ‘With the veterans gone, it is now or never for Pressley.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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 - Sir Jimmy Savile OBE is all set to help Otley's Christmas lights switch-on a much brighter affair this year.’
      • ‘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 you're talking

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

      ‘The Beatles! Now you're talking!’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

now

/naʊ//nou/

Main definitions of now in English

: now1NOW2

NOW2

  • National Organization for Women.