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 Bigsby and Hunter have been a potent combo early in the season, and that could prove critical for Auburn next weekend at Penn State. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 12 Sep. 2021 Josh Allen is 16-for-26 for 152 yards and a touchdown as Buffalo is in command early. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Sep. 2021 Montana was sharp early, throwing first-half touchdowns of 31 yards (to Ricky Patton) and 46 (to Freddie Solomon) as the 49ers built a 14-0 lead, fell behind as the Bears scored 17 unanswered, then rallied to win 28-17. Michael Lerseth, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Sep. 2021 The Tritons’ lone scoring chance of the first half was a 35-yard field-goal attempt early in the second quarter, which was blocked by Jake Simkins who flew in off the left side untouched. Devin Ugland, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 With the quarterback situation still being sorted out, new starters on the offensive line and in the backfield, the offense is behind the defense this early in the season. oregonlive, 9 Sep. 2021 Texas Tech will need to be on their toes early to put themselves in cruise control for the second half. Ryan Mainville, Dallas News, 9 Sep. 2021 Finding those windows isn't easy when defenses drop eight in coverage, and Cunningham did struggle to go through his progressions early, but settled in later. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, 8 Sep. 2021 Terry, Boyle, Jake, Amy, Rosa, and Scully go early to help set up for the event, which features prominent Cheddar action (always welcome) and whimsically folded napkins. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 3 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In Spain, a new regulation was introduced that ordered companies to provide more traditional employment benefits but the law has come in for criticism in its deployment at these early stages. Jonathan Keane, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 One, this is a team clearly in the early stages of a rebuild under first-year coach Shane Beamer. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 12 Sep. 2021 Things didn’t look so promising in the tournament’s early stages. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Sep. 2021 Lomax has visions of playing volleyball in college, but that process is still in its early stages. Paul Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 8 Sep. 2021 In the early stages of the pandemic, school closures disrupted the education of 62% of the global student population, according to the United Nations. Sam Romano, CNN, 8 Sep. 2021 Michigan and Minnesota are in the early stages of planning potential hunts in 2022. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 7 Sep. 2021 Houston is in the early stages of a rebuild, and new GM Nick Caserio was forced to go for short-term fixes in the offseason, plus deal with a Deshaun Watson problem of monumental proportions. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Sep. 2021 Biotech and technology companies, particularly in their early stages, still grant stock options. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021

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

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Early.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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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