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 Early (audio) \ Anderson 1816–1894 American Confederate general

Other Words from early

Adjective

earliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for early

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Lundell each scored twice, MacKenzie Weegar tied a career best with four points and the NHL-leading Florida Panthers scored early and often on the way to beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-2 on Saturday night. Tim Reynolds, sun-sentinel.com, 15 Jan. 2022 After having to twice rebound from conference losses early in the American Athletic Conference season, a Bearcats (12-5, 2-2 AAC) team that's back to .500 in the league will look to give itself some breathing room at Wichita State on Sunday. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 15 Jan. 2022 But Ducey decided to cut it early in an effort to help struggling employers who couldn't find people to hire. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, 15 Jan. 2022 The Panthers jumped out to a big advantage against Southport (7-6) in the first semifinal, leading 19-6 at the end of the first quarter and by 18 point early in the second. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Jan. 2022 The Spartans failed to attack Nance-less Northwestern in the paint early until Marble was aggressive late to finish the half with eight points. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 15 Jan. 2022 Americans were initially urged not to buy either surgical or N95 masks early in the pandemic to ensure there would be a sufficient supply for health care workers. The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Jan. 2022 Rupp died early in the season, at practically the same moment UK was wrapping up a victory at Kansas, his alma mater. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 15 Jan. 2022 Many transit agencies are paying higher wages while paring back schedules, reducing service for a second time after substantial cuts early in the pandemic. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The pending legislation would establish national standards for voter registration, early voting, voting by mail and permissible voter IDs. Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2022 And without that federal legislation, states will continue to be allowed to pass bills that restrict early voting and Sunday voting, purge voter lists that organizers worked tirelessly to create, and close polling stations in communities of color. Martin Luther King, CNN, 17 Jan. 2022 According to the letter, the Republicans have demanded changes that include holding the first debate before the start of early voting. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2022 The Freedom to Vote Act would make Election Day a national holiday, mandate 15 days of early voting and require all states to allow mail-in voting, among other changes. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, 13 Jan. 2022 Louisiana uses the Dominion system in question for early voting. Kate Brumback, ajc, 13 Jan. 2022 The party has been pushing the commission to host a debate before early voting begins in 2024. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 The law doesn’t limit no-excuse absentee voting, and expands hours available for early voting. The Editors, National Review, 12 Jan. 2022 The caucus also renewed calls to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, repeal the state’s 4 percent tax on groceries, implement early voting and provide pay raises to teachers and retired educators. al, 12 Jan. 2022

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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Time Traveler for early

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near early

earlship

early

Early

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Statistics for early

Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Early.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on early

Nglish: Translation of early for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of early for Arabic Speakers

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