early on


Definition of early on 

: at or during an early point or stage the reasons were obvious early on in the experiment

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Using Early on: Usage Guide

This adverb is sometimes objected to in American writing as an obtrusive Briticism. It is a relative newcomer to the language, having arisen in British English around 1928. It seems to have filled a need, however. It came into frequent use in American English in the late 1960s and is now well established on both sides of the Atlantic in both speech and writing.

Examples of early on in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The visitors had started brightly, with Blagoja Ljamcevski hitting the crossbar early on, but Rangers dominated after Murphy's strike, only for their profligacy to keep their opponents in the tie. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Gerards earns a win in his Rangers managerial debut," 12 July 2018 An own goal from Sergei Ignashevich put La Roja into the perfect position early on, but a moment of madness from Gerard Piqué allowed Russian striker Artem Dzyuba to level the scoreline with a late first half penalty. SI.com, "Spain Coach Fernando Hierro Unsure on Future as RFEF Consider Arsenal & Newcastle Boss," 2 July 2018 Verizon invested as much as $200 million early on in Go90. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Verizon Kills Go90, Its Mobile-Video App for Millennials, After Millennials Didn't Really Watch It," 29 June 2018 Misty and Colleen enjoy a brief Daughters team-up early on in season two, which is later followed by a veritable Heroes for Hire episode starring Luke and Danny Rand (Finn Jones). Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Luke Cage' Star on Season 2's Cliffhanger: "I Was Extremely Surprised"," 26 June 2018 Over the years, Tilley and Parson’s relationship has come under scrutiny, particularly for a pattern early on in which Tilley would use leftover funds from his campaign account to donate to Parson, who in turn paid Tilley fees for consulting work. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Who has the ear of Gov. Mike Parson? Meet his inner circle," 20 June 2018 The development of game intelligence remains fairly mysterious; the asset is one whose eventual emergence can be hard to predict early on. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "How Not to Scout for Soccer Talent," 14 June 2018 Novartis executives realized early on that Mr. Cohen couldn’t help with health policy but continued to pay him because his 12-month contract could be terminated only for cause, the spokeswoman has said. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "Prosecutors Investigating Michael Cohen for Possible Illegal Lobbying," 14 June 2018 His fastball sits comfortably between 93 and 95 mph and can touch 97 and 98 early on in games. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Who is Jackson Kowar, the Florida pitcher drafted by the Kansas City Royals?," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'early on.' 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 on

1759, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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The first known use of early on was in 1759

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What made you want to look up early on? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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