What Does No Time Like the Present Mean?

No Time Like the Present Meaning

Definition: It is better to do something now rather than later.

This expression often appears with the word there’s in front of it, as in there’s no time like the present.

Origin of No Time Like the Present

This idiom is a proverb that was first written in the year 1562. The idea behind it is that if you wait too long to do something, you may never get to do it. Something may come up that prevents you from doing or saying what you wish you had said.

Typically, people use this expression to encourage someone to do something that they have been putting off because they are nervous about doing it.

A similar expression that people say is now or never.

Examples of No Time Like the Present

there is no time like the present Here is an example that involves two college students who are at a party.

Robin: There’s Judy. She’s so beautiful.

Harry: Did you ask her out yet?

Robin: No, I’m worried that she might turn me down.

Harry: So what? If she turns you down, you’re no worse off than you are now. And if you wait too long, she’ll start dating someone else.

Robin: You’re right. When should I approach her?

Harry: There’s no time like the present! Go talk to her now!

proverb expansion of there is no time like the present In this dialogue, two co-workers are at work and are complaining about some issues.

Mal: This problem just keeps getting worse and worse. Someone needs to talk to our boss about this.

Xiomara: I know. I think you’re the best candidate to do that. He likes you the most.

Mal: I guess you’re right, but I wish I didn’t have to be the one to do it. The boss really intimidates me. I should talk to him tomorrow.

Xiomara: You know he doesn’t come into the office tomorrow. Besides, there’s no time like the present.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about a professional hockey team.

  • The Penguins coach basically reminded his players of all they have accomplished and the specific ingredients that went into winning consecutive Stanley Cup titles. Sullivan closed by pointing out that there’s no time like the present. –Pittsburgh Post Gazette

This excerpt is about a classic film.

  • If you’ve never seen Casablanca before, there is no time like the present. It is no exaggeration to say Casablanca is one of the greatest films ever made. –Washington Free Beacon


The saying no time like the present means now is the best time to act, not the future.