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now Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the momentary present
    • Now is a good time to do it
    • it worked up to right now
  2. adverb in the historical present; at this point in the narration of a series of past events
    • President Kennedy now calls in the National Guard
    • Washington now decides to cross the Delaware
    • the ship is now listing to port
  3. adverb in these times
    nowadays; today.
    • it is solely by their language that the upper classes nowadays are distinguished"- Nancy Mitford
    • we now rarely see horse-drawn vehicles on city streets
    • today almost every home has television
  4. adverb used to preface a command or reproof or request
    • now hear this!
    • now pay attention
  5. adverb at the present moment
    at present.
    • goods now on sale
    • the now-aging dictator
    • they are now abroad
    • he is busy at present writing a new novel
    • it could happen any time now
  6. adverb without delay or hesitation; with no time intervening
    straightaway; forthwith; like a shot; at once; straight off; directly; right away; immediately; instantly.
    • he answered immediately
    • found an answer straightaway
    • an official accused of dishonesty should be suspended forthwith
    • Come here now!
  7. adverb (prefatory or transitional) indicates a change of subject or activity
    • Now the next problem is...
  8. adverb in the immediate past
    • told me just now

Now adverb
OE. nou, nu, AS. nu, nu; akin to D., OS., & OHG. nu, G. nu, nun, Icel., nu, Dan., Sw., & Goth. nu, L. nunc, Gr. , , Skr. nu, nu. *193. Cf. New.
  1. At the present time; at this moment; at the time of speaking; instantly; as, I will write now.
    I have a patient now living, at an advanced age, who discharged blood from his lungs thirty years ago. Arbuthnot.
  2. Very lately; not long ago.
    They that but now, for honor and for plate, Made the sea blush with blood, resign their hate. Waller.
  3. At a time contemporaneous with something spoken of or contemplated; at a particular time referred to.
    The ship was now in the midst of the sea. Matt. xiv. 24.
  4. In present circumstances; things being as they are; -- hence, used as a connective particle, to introduce an inference or an explanation.
    How shall any man distinguish now betwixt a parasite and a man of honor ? L'Estrange.
    Why should he live, now nature bankrupt is ? Shak.
    Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now, Barabbas was a robber. John xviii. 40.
    The other great and undoing mischief which befalls men is, by their being misrepresented. Now, by calling evil good, a man is misrepresented to others in the way of slander. South.
Now adjective
  1. Existing at the present time; present. R. "Our now happiness." Glanvill.
Now noun
  1. The present time or moment; the present.
    Nothing is there to come, and nothing past; But an eternal now does ever last. Cowley.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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