Meaning of “already” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"already" in British English

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uk /ɔːlˈred.i/ us /ɑːlˈred.i/

A2 before the present time:

I asked him to come to the exhibition but he'd already seen it.
The concert had already begun by the time we arrived.
I've already told him.
As I have already mentioned, I doubt that we will be able to raise all the money we need.

B1 earlier than the time expected:

Are you buying Christmas cards already? It's only September!
I've only eaten one course and I'm already full.

More examples

  • He was disappointed to find they'd already gone.
  • I've been waiting an hour already.
  • I knew a lot about the subject already, but her talk was interesting nevertheless.
  • The food is already on the table.
  • I think we've already had the best of the hot weather this summer.

(Definition of “already” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"already" in American English

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alreadyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ɔlˈred·i/

earlier than the time expected, in a short time, or before the present time:

Are you planning a summer trip already? It’s only September!
I’ve already seen that movie.

Already can also mean now:

It’s bad enough already – don’t make it any worse.

(Definition of “already” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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