now (adv.)

Middle English nou, from Old English nu "at the present time, at this moment, immediately; now that," also used as an interjection and as an introductory word; from Proto-Germanic *nu (source also of Old Norse nu, Dutch nu, Old Frisian nu, German nun, Gothic nu "now"), from PIE *nu "now" (source also of Sanskrit and Avestan nu, Old Persian nuram, Hittite nuwa, Greek nu, nun, Latin nunc, Old Church Slavonic nyne, Lithuanian , Old Irish nu-). Perhaps originally "newly, recently," and related to the root of new.

Since Old English often merely emphatic, without a temporal sense (as in now then, which is attested from early 13c.). As a noun, "the present time," from late 14c. The adjective meaning "up to date" was revived by 1967, but the word was used also as an adjective with the sense of "current" from late 14c. through 18c. Now and then "occasionally, at one time and another" is from mid-15c.; now or never attested from early 13c. (nu oþer neure).

updated on July 15, 2019

Definitions of now from WordNet
now (adv.)
in the historical present; at this point in the narration of a series of past events;
the ship is now listing to port
Washington now decides to cross the Delaware
President Kennedy now calls in the National Guard
now (adv.)
in these times; "it is solely by their language that the upper classes nowadays are distinguished"- Nancy Mitford;
we now rarely see horse-drawn vehicles on city streets
Synonyms: nowadays / today
now (adv.)
used to preface a command or reproof or request;
now hear this!
now pay attention
now (adv.)
at the present moment;
goods now on sale
they are now abroad
the now-aging dictator
it could happen any time now
Synonyms: at present
now (adv.)
without delay or hesitation; with no time intervening;
Come here now!
Synonyms: immediately / instantly / straightaway / straight off / directly / right away / at once / forthwith / like a shot
now (adv.)
(prefatory or transitional) indicates a change of subject or activity;
now (adv.)
in the immediate past;
told me just now
now (n.)
the momentary present;
it worked up to right now
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.