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

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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 Medina was diagnosed with leukemia early in his senior baseball season last year. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Perry community mourns death of former baseball player Jacob Medina," 14 May 2020 If tegus are reproducing in the wild, catching them early is crucial. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Georgia officials trying to stop large, invasive lizard that eats 'anything they want'," 13 May 2020 But we are still early in the deal and China business has been basically paralyzed because of the coronavirus. Megan Durisin, Bloomberg.com, "Trade-Deal Boom Seen for U.S. Sorghum With Sales at 5-Year High," 13 May 2020 The data was effective in tracking the public's compliance with the national shutdown early in the pandemic. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Buzzing bracelets could become a workplace accessory in the coronavirus era," 13 May 2020 For instance, John Kerry’s vice presidential candidate in 2004, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, was relatively popular with voters early in the campaign. Christopher Devine, The Conversation, "For Biden, naming Cabinet before election would be a big risk," 7 May 2020 My favorite is Green Bay, especially early in the season. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "10 Tough Walleye Questions Answered," 4 May 2020 But these two young talents are evenly matched in the level of heat early in their careers. Naima Cochrane, Essence, "Hey Verzuz, Here's More Women You Can Put In The Game," 4 May 2020 Landen King can remember sitting in front of Texas coach Tom Herman on an unofficial visit early in the year. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Football: Atascocita’s King bolsters Texas Longhorn’s strong Greater Houston area class," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Here are a few of the early efforts, and surely many more will follow across the car-buying landscape. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Your Next Car-Buying Experience Will Be Cleaner Thanks to Automakers' Efforts," 17 May 2020 Harris tried to cover up, but with Overeem on his opponent’s back and landing punch after punch, the fight was headed to an early finish. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Walt Harris apologizes to Homewood after UFC loss," 17 May 2020 Nearly 8,000 patients are enrolled in the Gilead studies involving the antiviral drug, which the FDA authorized for emergency use after showing early promise. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: May 15," 16 May 2020 During the Great Depression stock market crash there was a 47% rally from late-1929 until the early Spring of 1930. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "Is the stock market experiencing the dreaded ‘dead cat bounce’?," 16 May 2020 Levitan suggested that people can bypass long waits for coronavirus tests, using a simple device called a pulse oximeter as an early warning system for detecting COVID-19 pneumonia. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, ""Something we've never seen before." Scientists still trying to understand baffling, unpredictable coronavirus," 16 May 2020 Hotels were chosen based on late summer/early fall 2020 dates and rates are subject to change. Adam Lapetina, Travel + Leisure, "10 Affordable and Stylish Hotels in Los Angeles," 16 May 2020 The earlier bills, debated as the magnitude of the crisis was becoming clear, featured sweeping votes and debates notable for their bipartisanship and sense of common purpose. Andrew Taylor And Alan Fram, Houston Chronicle, "House to vote Friday on more virus aid, despite GOP skeptics," 15 May 2020 This is particularly true since SARS-CoV-2 readily spreads during a short interval of a few days, typically in the early stages of infection. Michael Hochman, STAT, "Testing everyone for Covid-19 doesn’t make sense. We need to test smarter, not harder," 15 May 2020

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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Statistics for early

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Early.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for early

early

adverb
How to pronounce Early (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for early

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with early

Spanish Central: Translation of early

Nglish: Translation of early for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of early for Arabic Speakers

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