now Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “now” in the English Dictionary

"now" in British English

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nowadverb

uk   us   /naʊ/
  • now adverb (AT PRESENT)

A1 at the ​presenttime, not in the past or ​future: She used to be a ​teacher, but now she ​works in ​publishing. I may ​eat something ​later, but I'm not ​hungry now. Many ​people now own a ​smartphone.A2 immediately: I don't ​want to ​wait until ​tomorrow, I ​want it now!B2 used to ​express how ​long something has been ​happening, from when it ​began to the ​presenttime: She's been a ​vegetarian for ten ​years now. used in ​stories or ​reports of past ​events to ​describe a new ​situation or ​event: It was getting ​dark now, and we were ​tired. used when ​describing a ​situation that is the ​result of what someone just said or did: Oh yes, now I ​know who you ​mean.any minute/moment/second/time now B2 very ​soon: The ​guests are coming any ​minute now, and the ​house is still a ​mess.now for ... informal used to ​introduce a new ​subject: And now for what we're going to do ​tomorrow.

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  • now adverb (IN SPEECH)

used in ​statements and ​questions to ​introduce or give ​emphasis to what you are saying: Now, where did I put my ​hat? There was a ​knock at the ​door. Now Jan ​knew her ​mother had ​promised to come by, so she ​assumed it was her. Hurry, now, or you'll ​miss the ​bus! Sorry, I can't today. Now if you'd ​asked me ​yesterday, I would have said yes.

nownoun [U]

uk   us   /naʊ/
the ​presentmoment or ​time: Now isn't a good ​time to ​speak to him. I ​thought you'd be ​finished by now. You should have ​mentioned it before now. That's all for now (= until a ​futurepoint in ​time).from now on/as from now from this ​moment and always in the ​future: From now on the ​gates will be ​locked at ​midnight.

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nowconjunction

uk   us   /naʊ/
(Definition of now from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"now" in American English

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nowadverb [not gradable]

 us   /nɑʊ/
at the ​presenttimerather than in the past or ​future, or ​immediately: She used to ​work in an ​office, but now she ​works at ​home. It’s now 7 o’clock, ​time to get up or you’ll be late for ​work. Just now ​means either a very ​shorttime ago or at the ​presenttime: I can’t ​stop to ​talk just now, but give me a ​call when you get ​home.
used in ​statements and ​questions to ​introduce or give ​emphasis to what you are saying: Now where was I before you ​interrupted me?

nownoun [U]

 us   /nɑʊ/
  • now noun [U] (AT PRESENT)

the ​presentmoment or ​time: That’s all for now (= until a ​futurepoint in ​time). From now on (= Starting at this ​moment and ​continuing in the ​future), the ​frontdoor will be ​locked at ​midnight.
(Definition of now from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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