Definition of soon adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//suːn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//suːn//
    (sooner, soonest)
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  1. 1  in a short time from now; a short time after something else has happened We’ll be home soon./We’ll soon be home. She sold the house soon after her husband died. I soon realized the mistake. It soon became clear that the programme was a failure. See you soon!
  2. 2  early; quickly How soon can you get here? We'll deliver the goods as soon as we can. Please send it as soon as possible. Next Monday is the soonest we can deliver. They arrived home sooner than expected. The sooner we set off, the sooner we will arrive. The note said, ‘Call Bill soonest’ (= as soon as possible). All too soon the party was over. see also asap
  3. Word OriginOld English sōna ‘immediately’, of West Germanic origin.Idioms (especially North American English) used in negative sentences and questions to refer to the near future Will she be back anytime soon?
    I, etc. would just as soon do something
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    used to say that you would equally well like to do something as do something else that has been suggested I'd just as soon stay at home as go out tonight.
    I, etc. would sooner do something (than something else)
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    to prefer to do something (than do something else) She'd sooner share a house with other students than live at home with her parents.
    least said soonest mended
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    (British English, saying) a bad situation will pass or be forgotten most quickly if nothing more is said about it
    no sooner said than done
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    used to say that something was, or will be, done immediately
     used to say that something happens immediately after something else No sooner had she said it than she burst into tears. Grammar Pointhardly / scarcely / barely / no sooner Hardly, scarcely and barely can all be used to say that something is only just true or possible. They are used with words like any and anyone, with adjectives and verbs, and are often placed between can, could, have, be, etc. and the main part of the verb:They have sold scarcely any copies of the book. I barely recognized her. His words were barely audible. I can hardly believe it. I hardly can believe it. Hardly, scarcely and barely are negative words and should not be used with not or other negatives:I can’t hardly believe it. You can also use hardly, scarcely and barely to say that one thing happens immediately after another:We had hardly/​scarcely/​barely sat down at the table, when the phone rang. In formal, written English, especially in a literary style, these words can be placed at the beginning of the sentence and then the subject and verb are turned around:Hardly/​Scarcely had we sat down at the table, when the phone rang. Note that you usually use when in these sentences, not than. You can also use before:I scarcely had time to ring the bell before the door opened. No sooner can be used in the same way, but is always used with than:No sooner had we sat down at the table than the phone rang. Hardly and scarcely can be used to mean ‘almost never’, but barely is not used in this way:She hardly (ever) sees her parents these days. She barely sees her parents these days. very soon; as soon as possible ‘When shall I tell him?’ ‘The sooner the better.’  at some time in the future, even if you are not sure exactly when Sooner or later you will have to make a decision.
    sooner rather than later
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    after a short time rather than after a long time We urged them to sort out the problem sooner rather than later.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: soon