early

adverb
ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē \
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 \

Definition of Early (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from early

Adjective

earliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for early

Synonyms: Adverb

beforehand, inopportunely, precociously, prematurely, unseasonably

Synonyms: Adjective

ancient, primal, primeval, primitive, primordial

Antonyms: Adverb

belatedly, late, tardily

Antonyms: Adjective

late

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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

Elizabeth's father began preparing her to be Queen early. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Queen Elizabeth II's Remarkably Close Relationship With Her Father, King George VI," 5 Feb. 2019 Instead, Wanda was released five years early back in September 2018 and...believe it or not...has recently moved close to an elementary school in Utah. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper Just Moved Next To An Elementary School In Salt Lake City," 2 Jan. 2019 Most simply and most morbidly, more people would die early. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The economic impacts of climate change could limit climate change," 19 Dec. 2018 Adjust your child's bedtime Bedtimes tend to be a lot more relaxed during the summer, and getting up early can be a definite shock to a child's system. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "6 tips to help get your kid in back-to-school mode," 12 July 2018 Skies are sunniest early as some clouds bubble in the midday warmth. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: A few chances for quick-hitting rain drops through Thursday, but it’s mostly smooth sailing," 11 July 2018 Earlier this month, a New York Times investigation found that Facebook had carved out exceptions to its data-sharing policies for major companies like Netflix and Spotify, agreements that were still in place as early as last year. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "What’s wrong with Facebook and how to fix it," 27 Dec. 2018 The payouts will come for some employees as early as Christmas. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "Juul’s Instant Millionaires: How $2 Billion From Altria Is Being Divvied Up," 21 Dec. 2018 Christmas came early for Home Alone fans because Macaulay Culkin just reprised his role as Kevin McCallister in a new Google Home ad. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Is What 'Home Alone' Would Be Like If Kevin McCallister Had A Google Home," 19 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After getting the all-clear from the psychiatrist, my doctor put me on a regimen of fertility drugs that essentially helped to stimulate ovulation and support and maintain an early pregnancy. Kate Willsky, SELF, "What It’s Like to Deal With Anorexia While You’re Pregnant," 8 Feb. 2019 Because Christ's death and resurrection happened after the Jewish Passover, which is celebrated on the first full moon after the equinox, early Christians wanted Easter to always take place following Passover, according to ThoughtCo. Maria Carter, Country Living, "When Is Easter and Why Does Easter Change Dates Each Year?," 7 Feb. 2019 Meanwhile, Venezuela’s socialist party boss, Diosdado Cabello, threatened to hold early legislative elections that could gut the congress, which is the only branch of government controlled by the opposition. Scott Smith, The Seattle Times, "Venezuela’s dueling political movements each push elections," 6 Feb. 2019 The idea came from two previous pop-ups Abe did: one with Andelman as part of Colette’s swan song in 2017 and an earlier one at Le Bon Marché in the fall of 2014. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Hello, Sacai! The Japanese Brand Plans Traveling Pop-Ups For 2019," 6 Feb. 2019 According to Deadline, Hustler's director Lorene Scafaria adapted Pressler's words, and early shooting will begin in March. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu Are Starring in 'Hustlers', a Movie About Savvy Former Strippers," 5 Feb. 2019 Alemán tells Teen Vogue that she and her family got evicted from their home in the Mission — San Francisco’s historic Latinx neighborhood — in the early dot-com boom. Jackie Fielder, Teen Vogue, "Gabriela López Just Became the Youngest Elected Official in San Francisco," 11 Jan. 2019 Sony released its Playstation Classic console loaded with early 3D games, and Sega is set to release its Mega Drive Mini next year. Dami Lee, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Gadgets," 30 Dec. 2018 In fact, a study analysis in Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests this feeling is involved in everything from depression and alcoholism, strokes, decreased immune system, and early death. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How to Deal With Loneliness and Feelings of Isolation," 11 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for early

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for early

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

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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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with early

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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