1

early

play
adverb ear·ly \ ˈər-lē \

Definition of early

earlier; earliest
1 a :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
2 a :before the usual or expected time
  • the train arrived early
b archaic :soon
c :sooner than related forms
  • these apples bear early

Examples of early in a Sentence

  1. Early in his career he moved to the city.

  2. a word first recorded early in the 17th century

  3. They were trailing by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

  4. The package should be arriving early next week.

  5. She arrived early to help with the preparations.

  6. I got up early to finish packing.

Recent Examples of early from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of early

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


2

early

adjective

Definition of early

earlier; earliest
1 a :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
2 a :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

earliness

noun

Examples of early in a Sentence

  1. the early symptoms of the disease

  2. The early part of the book is better than the later part.

  3. We had an early spring this year.

  4. We're early. The show doesn't start for half an hour.

  5. I've always been an early riser.

Recent Examples of early from the Web

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.

First Known Use of early

13th century


Early

play
biographical name Ear·ly \ ˈər-lē \

Definition of Early

Ju*bal play \ˈjü-bəl\ Anderson 1816–1894 American Confederate general

EARLY Defined for English Language Learners

early

play
adverb

Definition of early for English Language Learners

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

  • : before the usual or expected time


early

adjective

Definition of early for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

early

play
adverb ear·ly \ ˈər-lē \

Definition of early for Students

earlier; earliest
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

2

early

adjective

Definition of early for Students

earlier; earliest
:occurring near the beginning or before the usual time
  • early morning


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