immediate - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    happening or done now, without any delay

    Our government must take immediate action.

    The rebels demanded the immediate release of the prisoners.

    Restrictions on advertising had an immediate impact on rates of teenage smoking.

    with immediate effect (=starting now):

    I handed in my resignation, with immediate effect.

    1. a.
      your immediate reaction to something is the first thing you think, feel, or do when it happens

      My immediate response was to say yes.

    2. b.
      existing now and needing urgent action

      There doesn’t seem to be any immediate danger.

      The French threat was the most immediate and damaging.

    3. c.
      [only before noun] existing in the period of time directly before or after an event

      in the immediate prewar period

      immediate aftermath:

      terrible pictures of the immediate aftermath of the earthquake

      the immediate future:

      The two men have different plans for the immediate future.

  2. 2
    [only before noun] immediate aims, wishes, or needs are of the greatest importance and are dealt with first

    Our immediate aim is to qualify for next year’s finals.

     Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    [only before noun] someone in an immediate relationship to you is closely connected to you

    She is my immediate superior (=the person directly in charge of me).

    members of the President’s immediate entourage

    immediate family (=your parents, children, brothers, and sisters):

    People who have immediate family on the plane are asked to contact this number.

  4. 4
    [only before noun] next to a place or person, or a very small distance away from them
    immediate vicinity (=area):

    There are several pleasant walks in the immediate vicinity.