Definition of soon in English:


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  • 1In or after a short time.

    ‘everyone will soon know the truth’
    • ‘he'll be home soon’
    • ‘they arrived soon after 7:30’
    • ‘Zoe soon arrived and we headed back to Gee's where we sat outside and tried not to sound geeky.’
    • ‘Go the other way and you will soon arrive on one of the fabulous southern beaches.’
    • ‘I know of men who are in danger of losing their home if the money doesn't arrive soon.’
    • ‘The one drawback is that it is short lived and will soon become woody and overlarge.’
    • ‘Being on board is like staying in a country house with everyone soon on first name terms.’
    • ‘Keep going straight ahead and you soon reach a stream and stile leading to an old barn.’
    • ‘He said that there had been many applications and a short list would soon be drawn up.’
    • ‘We pray that the end of the war may come soon, and then once more we may know peace on earth.’
    • ‘Taylor didn't object and soon began to laugh once more as they started to muck about.’
    • ‘It has novelty value but that will soon wear off once the menu options are exhausted.’
    • ‘Once in place they seed very easily and can soon take over every available spot.’
    • ‘Hutton will be wrapping up his inquiry soon and the report will be out shortly afterwards.’
    • ‘They argued that if they would have to fight the ban they would prefer to start as soon as possible.’
    • ‘It is almost a year since it was announced that the beleaguered vicar would resign as soon as he got a new job.’
    • ‘Still, we persevered and in spite of the traffic it was soon actually rather pleasant.’
    • ‘Unless consumers make a fuss they will soon have no choice on how they enjoy digital music.’
    • ‘With all rear seats in place, the boot is quite small but soon transforms into a vast cavern.’
    • ‘Try different baits on each of the hooks, it will soon become evident what the fish prefer.’
    • ‘Indeed he says that many employees are resigned to the idea that they may soon have a new parent.’
    • ‘With a lit coil around, the mosquitoes begin coughing and either stay away or soon die.’
    in a short time, shortly, presently, in the near future, before long, in a little while, in a minute, in a moment, in an instant, in a twinkling, in the twinkling of an eye, before you know it, any minute, any minute now, any day, any day now, any time, any time now, by and by
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    1. 1.1Early.
      ‘it's a pity you have to leave so soon’
      • ‘I wish you'd told me sooner’
      • ‘it was too soon to know’
      • ‘At this early stage it is too soon to say whether it has been a good or bad thing to do or what the repercussions of it all might be.’
      • ‘I kept putting her off, telling her it was too soon and if we bought it too early it would go off.’
      • ‘Sadly, we have also seen, all too soon, the bitter truth that lives are lost in wars.’
      • ‘Sometimes, the people that you want to say things to are snatched away from the world too soon.’
      earlier, before, beforehand, in advance, in readiness, ahead of time, already
      early, quickly, promptly, speedily, punctually
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  • 2Used to indicate one's preference in a particular matter.

    ‘I'd just as soon Tim did it’
    • ‘I would sooner resign than transfer to Toronto’
    • ‘That was one of those race days I’d just as soon forget.’
    • ‘I would as soon die as suffer that.’
    rather, by preference, preferably, by choice, from choice, more willingly, more readily
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/so͞on/ /sun/


In standard English, the phrase no sooner is followed by than, as in we had no sooner arrived than we had to leave. This is because sooner is a comparative, and comparatives are followed by than (earlier than; better than, etc.). It is incorrect to follow no sooner with when rather than than, as in we had no sooner arrived when we had to leave


    no sooner — than
    • Used to convey that the second event mentioned happens immediately after the first.

      ‘she had no sooner spoken than the telephone rang’
      • ‘No sooner had they realized that they had made a mistake than the company went bankrupt.’
    sooner or later
    • At some future time; eventually.

      ‘you'll have to tell him sooner or later’
      • ‘Environmental changes in one area of the world eventually affect the rest sooner or later.’
      • ‘And some day, sooner or later, it will have a leader who acknowledges that fact with pride.’
      • ‘Marissa glared at him hoping that maybe he'd get the hint sooner or later and finally stop.’
      • ‘I sometimes think singles are pointless because the album will come sooner or later.’
      • ‘All roads from Sudan lead there, sooner or later, including in the most literal sense, even today.’
      • ‘They all either know each other or will get to know each other, sooner or later.’
      • ‘The internet will become part of everyone's daily routine sooner or later.’
      • ‘Silence and political oblivion come, sooner or later, for every Prime Minister.’
      • ‘When it happens, as it must happen sooner or later, I believe it will happen this way.’
      • ‘The company clearly committed wrongs, and was bound to cause a storm in the business world sooner or later.’


Old English sōna ‘immediately’, of West Germanic origin.