1 /naU/ adverb
1 at the present time: If we leave now we'll be there before dark. | They now live in the city centre. | right now (=exactly now): Right now I couldn't give a damn about your broken window. | just now especially BrE (=at the present time): There are a lot of bargains in the shops just now. | up to now/until now: It's been a good game up to now but it would be nice to see a few more goals. | by/before now (=before the present time): Sonia should be home by now. Do you think she's had an accident? | from now on/as of now (=starting from now): From now on Bill wishes to be addressed as Mr Wilson by all the staff. | for now (=used when something is happening at the present time but may change in the future): That's enough talk for now. Take a break and we'll try again after lunch.
2 immediately: I've already told you to clean up. I said now and I mean now. | The bell has rung - stop writing now.
3 used when you know or understand something because of something you have just seen, just been told etc: Having met the rest of the family, she now saw where he got his temper from.
4 3 weeks/2 years etc now starting 3 weeks, 2 years etc ago and continuing into the future: They've been going out together for a long time now. | It's been over five years now since I started working here. | it is now 3 weeks/2 years etc: It's now a month since we bought the car and it's broken down three times already.
5 any day/minute etc now very soon: The guests will arrive any minute now.
6 (every) now and then/now and again sometimes: I try to buy myself something every now and then.
7 used in stories when you mean at the time that the event or story is happening: She blew out the candle. Now she could hear the sound of the wind howling in the trees outside.
8 literary used to say that at one moment someone does one thing and immediately after they do something else: The eagle glided through the sky, now rising, now swooping.
a) used when pausing or getting someone's attention before continuing what you are saying or changing the subject: Now, what did you say your name was? | Now, let's move on to the question of payment.
b) used when pausing when you are thinking what to say next: Now, let's see, oh yes - they wanted to know what time you'll be back on Friday.
c) used to say that if the situation was different, something different would happen: Now, if I'd been in charge there's no way I'd have let them use the van.
d) used to make someone calm or comfort them when they are angry, upset etc: Come on now, don't cry.
e) used when telling or reminding someone to do something: Don't forget now - put the keys in the right hand drawer. | Now hurry up! I haven't got all day.
10 right now at the moment: I'm really busy right now, can I call you back?
11 just now especially BrE
a) at the moment: I can't do it just now, I'm busy.
b) a moment ago: Where have I put that pen? I was using it just now.
12 now then used to get someone's attention before telling them to do something or asking them a question: Now then, what's the matter?
13 well now used when giving an opinion or asking someone to tell you something: Well now, what's all this I hear about you getting married?
14 now for used when saying what you are going to do next: That's that done. Now for a nice cup of coffee.
15 and now
a) used when introducing the next activity, performer etc: And now, live from New York, Diana Ross.
b) to ask someone what the situation is like at the moment when they have been telling you what it was like in the past: “It was terrible, she nearly died.” “And now?” “Oh, she's back to normal now.”
16 now now
a) used to make someone calm or comfort them when they are angry, upset etc: Now now, don't worry, everything will be okay.
b) especially BrE used when telling someone not to behave badly: Now now, leave her alone, it's not fair to blame her.
17 not now used to tell someone that you do not want to talk to them or do something now, because you are busy, tired etc: “Tell me a story.” “Not now, Daddy's working.”
18 it's now or never used to say that if someone does not do something now, they will not get another chance to do it
19 now's the time used to say that someone should do something now, because it is the right time to do it: Now's the time to buy a suit, while there are still sales on.
20 now I know used when you have just found out something you didn't know before: Okay, now I know. I won't do it again, I'm sorry.
21 what is it now? used when you are annoyed because someone keeps interrupting you or asking you things: What is it now? I wish you'd leave me alone!
22 now you tell me! used when you are annoyed or amused because someone has just told you something they should have told you before: Now she tells me! After I spent hours waiting for you all to arrive!
2 conjunction also now that because of something or as a result of something: Now that they've got to know each other a little better, they get along just fine. | Now you're here, why not have a drink.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


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