early

adverb
ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē How to pronounce early (audio) \
earlier; earliest

Definition of early

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : near the beginning of a period of time awoke early in the morning
b : near the beginning of a course, process, or series early in his senatorial career
2a : before the usual or expected time the train arrived early
b archaic : soon
c : sooner than related forms these apples bear early

early

adjective
earlier; earliest

Definition of early (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : of, relating to, or occurring near the beginning of a period of time, a development, or a series in the early evening the early symptoms of the disease
b(1) : distant in past time
(2) : primitive early tools
2a : occurring before the usual or expected time an early arrival
b : occurring in the near future at your earliest convenience
c : maturing or producing sooner than related forms an early peach

Early

biographical name
Ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē How to pronounce Early (audio) \

Definition of Early (Entry 3 of 3)

Ju*bal \ ˈjü-​bəl How to pronounce ˈjü-bəl (audio)\ Anderson 1816–1894 American Confederate general

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Other Words from early

Adjective

earliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for early

Synonyms: Adverb

beforehand, inopportunely, precociously, prematurely, unseasonably

Synonyms: Adjective

ancient, primal, primeval, primitive, primordial

Antonyms: Adverb

belatedly, late, tardily

Antonyms: Adjective

late

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Examples of early in a Sentence

Adverb

Early in his career he moved to the city. a word first recorded early in the 17th century They were trailing by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The package should be arriving early next week. She arrived early to help with the preparations. I got up early to finish packing.

Adjective

the early symptoms of the disease The early part of the book is better than the later part. We had an early spring this year. We're early. The show doesn't start for half an hour. I've always been an early riser.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Legislation to address the issue is currently pending in the Massachusetts House and Senate and is slated to be heard as early as July. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Students are being shamed and punished over lunch debt, and it may take legislation to stop it," 13 June 2019 Although some places included electronic cigarettes in their smoke-free laws as early as 2009, the practice spiked after 2014, Hallett said. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Amid unchecked vaping, Carmel to consider ban on e-cigs in public spaces," 13 June 2019 Since 1993, the fund’s In Memory Program has honored more than 4,000 Vietnam War veterans, whose lives ended early as a result of the war. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "Winter Park Vietnam War veteran, who died from Agent Orange effects, to be honored in Washington, D.C.," 13 June 2019 The measure, set to go into effect January 1, would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Ariana Grande donates Atlanta concert proceeds to Planned Parenthood," 12 June 2019 On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government would seek to eliminate single-use plastic as early as 2021, following the lead of the European Union, which last year approved a ban on 10 single-use plastics by 2021. Anna Schaverien, New York Times, "Store’s Bid to Shame Customers Over Plastic Bags Backfires," 12 June 2019 Canada plans to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "Wanted: His dad's frozen head," 11 June 2019 The Canadian government is moving to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday in Toronto. CBS News, "Canada banning single-use plastics as early as 2021," 11 June 2019 Then, the crowd got ugly (Photo: Matt Stone/Courier Journal) While the sign-up was scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m. at 2028 West Broadway, people were in line as early as 7 a.m. to secure a free season pass, 300 of which were available. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Kingdom pass giveaway was well-organized despite shutdown, planner says," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

From fighting over the Zagat's restaurant guide as Bev and Hank, to singing about a lunch lady and a lovestruck sloppy joe, the duo seemed unstoppable in the early '90s. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Actual Reason Why Chris Farley and Adam Sandler Were Fired From 'SNL'," 27 May 2019 Originally paved with bricks, the track retains a row of bricks at the start-finish line as a connection with its early history. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, "Everything You Need to Know about the Indianapolis 500," 25 May 2019 The garden forms part of Her Royal Highness’s ongoing work on early childhood development and her mission to support efforts that give every child the best possible start in life. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Kate Middleton’s Back to Nature Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show Pays Tribute to Princess Diana," 23 May 2019 As PopSugar points out, McGrath's early DIY beauty sensibility was borne from the lack of products for dark skin tones. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Makeup Artist Pat McGrath Used Cocoa Powder as Foundation When She Couldn't Find Makeup for Dark Skin," 20 May 2019 The manager wants to make sure Kelley is ready physically and mentally to get back on the mound, and mentioned Monday or Tuesday as the earliest for a return. Stephen Hawkins, The Seattle Times, "Rangers reliever Kelley has lumps removed from throat," 18 May 2019 Like many of her talented young students, Miller has been ambitious and business-minded from an early age. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Abby Lee Miller Is Worth More Than You Might Think," 18 May 2019 Some days now my mind is crystal clear, calm like a quiet ocean in the early morning. Alex Daly, Glamour, "This Is What It’s Like to Be Obsessed With Perfection," 13 May 2019 To avoid the peak hours of sun and heat, most experienced hikers set out in the early morning or late afternoon, Schimelpfenig says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "14 Essential Hiking Safety Tips You Should Always Follow," 10 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'early.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of early

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for early

Adverb

Middle English erly, from Old English ǣrlīce, from ǣr early, soon — more at ere

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Statistics for early

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for early

The first known use of early was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for early

early

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of early

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: at or near the beginning of a period of time or a process, activity, series, etc.
: before the usual or expected time

early

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of early (Entry 2 of 2)

: existing or happening near the beginning of a period of time
: happening near the beginning of a process, activity, series, etc.
: coming or happening before the usual or expected time

early

adverb
ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē How to pronounce early (audio) \
earlier; earliest

Kids Definition of early

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : at or near the beginning of a period of time woke up early early in my career
2 : before the usual or expected time arrived early

early

adjective
earlier; earliest

Kids Definition of early (Entry 2 of 2)

: occurring near the beginning or before the usual time early morning

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More from Merriam-Webster on early

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with early

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for early

Spanish Central: Translation of early

Nglish: Translation of early for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of early for Arabic Speakers

Comments on early

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