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Middle English immediat, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin immediatus, from Latin in- + Late Latin mediatus intermediate

  • Date: 15th century


  • 1 a : acting or being without the intervention of another object, cause, or agency : direct <the immediate cause of death>
b : present to the mind independently of other states or factors <immediate awareness> c : involving or derived from a single premise <an immediate inference>
  • 2 : being next in line or relation <the immediate family>
  • 3 a : existing without intervening space or substance <brought into immediate contact>
b : being near at hand <the immediate neighborhood>

4 a : occurring, acting, or accomplished without loss or interval of time : instant <an immediate need>

b (1) : near to or related to the present <the immediate past> (2) : of or relating to the here and now : current <too busy with immediate concerns to worry about the future>
  • 5 : directly touching or concerning a person or thing <the child's immediate world is the classroom>


Immediacy is a philosophical concept related to time and temporal perspectives, both visual, cognitive. Considerations of immediacy reflect on how we experience the world and what reality is. It possesses characteristics of both of the homophonic heterographs 'immanent' and 'imminent', and what entails to both within ontology.

In communication theory, immediacy refers to an individual’s perceived amount of time between an action and its resulting consequences (Crano, 1995). Immediacy can be considered an extension of certainty, however, these two entities are completely separate. In other words, it refers to the relative lack of any lag between an attitudinally implicated action and its consequences.