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adjective pre·ma·ture \ˌprē-mə-ˈtyr, -ˈtr, -ˈchr also ˌpre-\

: happening too soon or earlier than usual

: born before the normal time

Full Definition of PREMATURE

:  happening, arriving, existing, or performed before the proper, usual, or intended time; especially :  born after a gestation period of less than 37 weeks <premature babies>
premature noun
pre·ma·ture·ly adverb
pre·ma·ture·ness noun
pre·ma·tu·ri·ty \-ˈtyr-ə-tē, -ˈtr-, -ˈchr-\ noun

Examples of PREMATURE

  1. Her premature death at age 30 stunned her family and friends.
  2. Too much exposure to the sun can cause the premature aging of skin.


Latin praematurus too early, from prae- + maturus ripe, mature
First Known Use: circa 1529

Other Embryology Terms

gravid, neonate, ontogeny, parturition
PREMATURE Defined for Kids


adjective pre·ma·ture \ˌprē-mə-ˈtr, -ˈtyr, -ˈchr\

Definition of PREMATURE for Kids

:  happening, coming, or done before the usual or proper time :  too early <a premature decision> <premature infants>
pre·ma·ture·ly adverb


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