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 Leading 14-7 early in the fourth quarter of Friday night's Division I, Region IV quarterfinal playoff game against Mason, Colerain took over at its own 35-yard line. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Ohio high school football playoffs: Colerain handles Mason, sets up Lakota West rematch," 17 Oct. 2020 Chris Hubbard is expected to start in place of Teller, who suffered a strained calf early in Sunday’s win over the Colts. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Browns safeties Karl Joseph, Ronnie Harrison out Sunday, punter Jamie Gillan questionable vs. Steelers," 16 Oct. 2020 Kevin Young took heed to that advice early in his coaching career and still lives by it. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "'Battle tested' Kevin Young joins Phoenix Suns coaching staff after four seasons with Philadelphia 76ers," 15 Oct. 2020 Thomas says opening the pipeline for Black physicians like him has to start early. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, "For Black women, the isolation of infertility is compounded by barriers to treatment," 14 Oct. 2020 Defenses are often ahead of the offense early in many training camps. oregonlive, "Oregon State defense owning the day at practices, which thrills QB Tristan Gebbia: ‘It’s going to make Saturdays a lot easier’," 14 Oct. 2020 Financial education can start as early as the age of 3 according to CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, in a report discussing the importance of teaching children to be financially literate. CBS News, "Bank account helps children develop healthy saving and spending habits," 13 Oct. 2020 Before the first pitch, Braves fans early did their controversial chop salute and chant. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "‘We breathe this stuff’: An inside look at fans’ first experience inside Globe Life Field," 13 Oct. 2020 Even virtual meetings sometimes start early, with people informally catching up and sharing thoughts. Alexandra Carter, NBC News, "How to claim a seat at the virtual table – including Zoom," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The story received some early pick up, but was soon swallowed by the news that the first couple had both tested positive for the virus. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Melania Trump’s Charmed Pandemic Life," 6 Oct. 2020 But health experts see the early returns as warning signs the NBA should avoid. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Why health experts are skeptical NBA can begin next season with fans in arenas," 6 Oct. 2020 There have been conversations about state mandates, turning Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse into an early polling place, opening both the arena and practice facility safely and whether fans can be allowed in. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine, Kid Cudi, Michael Strahan and group of NBA champions: Inside J.B. Bickerstaff’s lauded guest-speaker series," 6 Oct. 2020 Voters can drop off someone else's sealed and signed early ballot if the voter is a family member, a roommate or a caregiver of the other person. Jen Fifield, The Arizona Republic, "Voting starts Wednesday in Maricopa County. Here are all the ways you can cast your ballot," 6 Oct. 2020 The way her performances jibed with her at-times-wild personal life proved irresistible to the early 2000s’ unchecked gossip media, which magnified her every sartorial, romantic, or parenting snafu. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Why the ‘Free Britney’ Saga Feels So Familiar," 6 Oct. 2020 Boeing pared early gains and fell 3.5% to $165.22 at 12:02 p.m. in New York. Julie Johnsson, Bloomberg.com, "Boeing Cuts Jetliner-Sales Forecast 11% on Decade-Long Slump," 6 Oct. 2020 Gillet was an early proponent of coronavirus pandemic livestreaming. Keith Spera, NOLA.com, "For cellist Helen Gillet, upcoming d.b.a. livestream 'feels like progress. It's a step forward'," 6 Oct. 2020 After starting 15th with a poor qualifying run, Dixon made early contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay, suffering a puncture in his side-pod that likely hurt his downforce levels the rest of the afternoon. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Will Power holds off Colton Herta for wire-to-wire win on IMS road course," 3 Oct. 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

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Early.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early. Accessed 20 Oct. 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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Comments on early

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