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 If the season were to start early enough, say late September, there’s time to get in 11 games. oregonlive, "Taking a dive into Oregon State’s conference-only 2020 football schedule possibilities: Analysis," 13 July 2020 Shivaree and Swiss Skydiver battled up front early, setting fractions of 23.25 seconds for the quarter mile, 46.61 seconds for the half-mile and 1:10.63 for three-quarters. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Art Collector wins Blue Grass, gives longtime trainer Drury first shot at Kentucky Derby," 12 July 2020 Clinicians hope to see MDMA approved by the FDA for PTSD treatment as early as 2022. Erica Rex, Scientific American, "The Power of Psychedelics," 12 July 2020 But the Bodega had to close down early in the pandemic. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "'We're behind the curve': Community gardens struggle to feed food insecure during pandemic," 8 July 2020 Outdoor crowds were so big around Memorial Day weekend, that parks from southern California to North Carolina had to close early after hitting capacity. Ethan Harp, CNN, "Why tick season could be worse in the summer of Covid-19," 5 July 2020 Carly's Bistro, another downtown Phoenix restaurant, decided to close early for some of the same reasons. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Coronavirus closed Arizona restaurants for months. Now they face a statewide curfew," 2 June 2020 Other sites were forced to close early or shut temporarily because of safety concerns, or where mandatory curfews were in place. NBC News, "Protesting in a pandemic: COVID-19 testing sites shut down amid national unrest," 2 June 2020 Anticipating further unrest in the decision not to charge Gardner, Omaha officials urged businesses to close early. Fox News, "Omaha bar owner who shot, killed protester won't face charges, county attorney says," 2 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The availability of testing supplies has improved relative to the early stages of the pandemic, according to Eric Blank, chief program officer at the Association of Public Health Laboratories. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "As sports return, experts fear leagues will use up scarce COVID-19 testing resources," 13 July 2020 And on Sunday, Florida smashed its previous record for new cases with 15,300, far surpassing New York’s record of 12,274 from April 4, in the early stages of the outbreak. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "Coronavirus Deaths Are Going Up in Most Regions of the U.S. as New Cases Continue to Soar," 13 July 2020 The differences centered on how to craft the loan terms of their $600 billion Main Street Lending Program to help support businesses through the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Fed... Nick Timiraos And Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Fed, Treasury Disagreements Slowed Start of Main Street Lending Program," 12 July 2020 Still, public health officials and researchers caution that most school reopenings are in their early stages. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "Reopened schools in Europe and Asia have largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks. They have lessons for the U.S.," 11 July 2020 Chelsea Clinton is in the early stages of creating her own venture capital firm, Axios reports. Fortune, "What would a ‘feminist city’ look like?," 10 July 2020 Cindric was able to maintain a closer gap than any other competitor in the early stages of the race – staying right on Gragson’s bumper as the pair dueled more than a second ahead of the third-and-fourth-place cars of Briscoe and Riley Herbst. Jason Hoffman, The Enquirer, "Austin Cindric wins Shady Rays 200 at Kentucky Speedway: 'I've never had more confidence.'," 10 July 2020 Alameddin says the association first asked the Arizona Department of Health Services to waive a series of state regulations on March 31, when the COVID-19 pandemic was still in its early stages in the state. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, "As COVID-19 escalates, Arizona hospitals want state to waive some patient protections," 9 July 2020 But most of the new contenders are still in early stages, and won’t be available in clinics for months. BostonGlobe.com, "Confirmed coronavirus cases in US hit 3 million and climbing," 9 July 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

28 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Early.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early. Accessed 8 Aug. 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

Comments on early

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