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1. In a short time; soon: She will arrive presently.
2. Usage Problem At this time or period; now: He is presently staying with us.
3. Archaic At once; immediately.
Usage Note: The original use of presently to mean "at the present time, currently" goes back to the late 1300s. This usage seems to have disappeared from the written record in the 1600s, but it probably survived in speech, as it is widely found nowadays in both speech and writing. Perhaps because this sense was not treated in dictionaries until relatively recently, some language critics have argued that this usage is an error and that presently should only be used in the sense of "in a short time, soon," as in the shopkeeper's I will be with you presently. In four surveys from 1965 to 1999, only 47-50 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the "currently" usage in sentences like She is presently the secretary of state. By 2011, 63 percent found this sentence acceptable. So, although many still adhere to this guideline, resistance appears to be waning.


1. in a short while; soon
2. at the moment
3. an archaic word for immediately


(ˈprɛz ənt li)

1. in a little while; soon.
2. at the present time; now.
3. Archaic. immediately.
syn: See immediately.
usage: The meaning “now” of presently dates back to the 15th century; it is currently in standard use in all varieties of speech and writing. The sense “soon” arose gradually during the 16th century. Strangely, it is the older sense “now” that usage guides sometimes object to. The two senses are rarely if ever confused. presently meaning “now” is most often used with the present tense (The professor is presently on sabbatical leave) and presently meaning “soon” often with the future tense (The supervisor will be back presently).
momentarily, presently - Momentarily means "in a moment"; presently means "soon" or "shortly."
See also related terms for moment.


1. used to mean 'soon'

If something will happen presently, it will happen quite soon.

He will be here presently.
I shall have more to say presently.

If you are talking about the past, you use presently to say that something happened quite soon after something else.

Presently all was quiet again.
He was shown to a small office. Presently, a young woman in a white coat came in.

Both these uses of presently are slightly old-fashioned.

2. used to mean 'now'

Some people use presently after be to mean 'now'.

...the oil and gas rigs that are presently in operation.
She is presently developing a number of projects.

This use of presently is fairly new in British English, and some speakers find it unacceptable. Instead of 'presently', you can say at present.

He is at present serving a life sentence.
The comet is at present between the constellations of Pegasus and Delphinius.

You can put at present at the beginning or end of a clause. You cannot do this with 'presently' when it means 'now'.

At present there is a world energy shortage.
We're short of staff at present.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.presently - in the near futurepresently - in the near future; "the doctor will soon be here"; "the book will appear shortly"; "she will arrive presently"; "we should have news before long"
2.presently - at this time or period; now; "he is presently our ambassador to the United Nations"; "currently they live in Connecticut"


1. at present, currently, now, today, these days, nowadays, at the present time, in this day and age, at the minute (Brit. informal) The island is presently uninhabited.
2. soon, shortly, directly, before long, momentarily (U.S. & Canad.), in a moment, in a minute, pretty soon (informal), anon (archaic), by and by, in a short while, in a jiffy (informal), erelong (archaic or poetic) Just take it easy and you'll feel better presently.
حالا، قَريباًحَالِيّاًفي الوَقت الحاضِر
for tideni øjeblikketsnart
eins og stendurrétt strax
az sonraçok geçmedenşimdişu anda
ngay đây


[ˈprezntlɪ] ADV
1. (= shortly) → dentro de poco, al rato
you'll feel better presentlyenseguida te sentirás mejor
presently, he woke uppoco después se despertó
2. (US) (= now) → en este momento, actualmente
they're presently on touractualmente están de gira


[ˈprɛzəntli] adv
(= soon) → bientôt
You'll feel better presently → Tu vas bientôt te sentir mieux.
(= at present) → actuellement
They're presently on tour → Ils sont actuellement en tournée.
(= shortly afterwards) → peu de temps aprèspresent participle nparticipe m présentpresent perfect npassé m composépresent tense nprésent m
the present tense → le présent


(= soon)bald; (= shortly afterwards)bald, bald darauf
(= at present)zurzeit, derzeit, gegenwärtig


[ˈprɛzntlɪ] adv (shortly) → tra poco, a momenti (esp Am) (now) → adesso, ora


(ˈpreznt) adjective
1. being here, or at the place, occasion etc mentioned. My father was present on that occasion; Who else was present at the wedding?; Now that the whole class is present, we can begin the lesson.
2. existing now. the present moment; the present prime minister.
3. (of the tense of a verb) indicating action now. In the sentence `She wants a chocolate', the verb is in the present tense.
ˈpresently adverb
1. soon. He will be here presently.
2. (especially American) at the present time. The manager is presently on holiday.
the present
the time now. Forget the past – think more of the present and the future!
at present
at the present time. He's away from home at present.
for the present
as far as the present time is concerned. You've done enough work for the present.


حَالِيّاً nyní for tiden bald προς το παρόν en este momento pian actuellement sada attualmente やがて momenteel for øyeblikket obecnie presentemente в настоящий момент omedelbart ขณะนี้ şu anda ngay đây 目前
References in classic literature ?
Presently Beth and Amy woke to rummage and find their little books also, one dove-colored, the other blue, and all sat looking at and talking about them, while the east grew rosy with the coming day.
The boy and his mother saw the cat creep into the door of the bakery and presently emerge followed by the baker, who swore and waved his arms about.
Presently a man with a lantern approached them and began to talk, shouting and exclaiming.
The first tap of the French drums was echoed from the bosom of the fort, and presently the valley was filled with the strains of martial music, rising long, thrilling and lively above the rattling accompaniment.
But the news of its sudden fortune, magnified by report, began presently to flood the settlement with another class of adventurers.
Let me say here distinctly, to have done with it, that this narrative, from an exact transcript of my own made much later, is what I shall presently give.
Presently there was a distant blare of military music; it came nearer, still nearer, and soon a noble cavalcade wound into view, glorious with plumed helmets and flashing mail and flaunting banners and rich doublets and horse-cloths and gilded spear- heads; and through the muck and swine, and naked brats, and joyous dogs, and shabby huts, it took its gallant way, and in its wake we followed.
The fatigue was so great that it presently began to make some head against the nervous excitement; while imagining myself wide awake, I would really doze into momentary unconsciousness, and come suddenly out of it with a physical jerk which nearly wrenched my joints apart--the delusion of the instant being that I was tumbling backward over a precipice.
He presently got safely beyond the reach of capture and punishment, and hastened toward the public square of the village, where two "military" companies of boys had met for conflict, according to previous appointment.
Presently he added: "Dunstan was the man that robbed Silas Marner.
Yet when they saw it was a man that rushed upon them, they were seized with sudden fear and fled this way and that, leaping by great bounds from the place of rock, which is the knees of the stone Witch, so that presently I stood alone in front of the cave.
There was an air of expectancy about her walk, as though she looked to be met presently by some one due from the opposite direction.