Meaning of ALREADY in English

ALREADY

/awl red"ee/ , adv.

1. by this or that time; previously; prior to or at some specified or implied time: When we came in, we found they had already arrived.

2. now; so soon; so early: Is it noon already?

3. Informal. (used as an intensifier to express exasperation or impatience): Let's go already!

[ 1350-1400; ME al redy ALL READY; what orig. meant "completely (ALL) ready" and modified the subject ( The porter all ready was there ) was taken adverbially as modifying the predicate ( The porter already was there, meaning "from an earlier time") ]

Usage . Although ALREADY and ALL READY are often indistinguishable in speech, the written forms have distinct meanings and uses. The phrase ALL READY means "entirely ready" or "prepared" ( I was all ready to leave on vacation ). ALREADY means "previously" ( The plane had already left the airport ) or "so soon" ( Is it lunchtime already? ).

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .