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 But the heavyweight showdown will likely come down to Ngannou’s ability (or lack thereof) to land a huge shot early on. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "When is Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou 2? How to watch, order UFC 260 | Fight card, live stream, time, USA TV channel," 26 Mar. 2021 As a result, Italy moved early on to vaccinate teachers within the age range, but also lawyers, prosecutors and hospital administrative staff. New York Times, "Supply Isn’t the Only Thing Stymying Europe’s Vaccine Rollout," 25 Mar. 2021 Its pastor says the numbers of cases and deaths went underreported early on because church officials lacked accurate information and many people feared the stigma surrounding the illness. Star Tribune, "Church in NY virus epicenter leads congregants out of sorrow," 25 Mar. 2021 Both of Cole’s parents come down with the flu and die early on in the novel. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "A Novel for Life After the Pandemic," 25 Mar. 2021 When the doors of Botanica Luz del Día were closed early on in the pandemic, customers couldn’t browse for their preferred veladoras or stop into the Pico-Union store for tarot readings. Los Angeles Times, "Life, emptiness and resolve: A photo essay on the pandemic’s toll along Pico Boulevard," 24 Mar. 2021 Seniors — those who were battling each other for vaccine appointments early on — make up nearly 30% of the state’s population. Aric Chokey, sun-sentinel.com, "Even as the age comes down, getting a vaccine isn’t such a madhouse anymore," 24 Mar. 2021 Federal prosecutors, though, reasoned that some credit should be given for Champion-Cain’s admission of guilt early on, her lack of a criminal record and her philanthropy. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Champion-Cain should spend nearly 11 years behind bars for Ponzi scheme, prosecutors recommend," 24 Mar. 2021 There are plenty of signs early on that something grim is ahead. Richard Rys, Vulture, "The Walking Dead Recap: Game Night," 14 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for early on

Time Traveler

The first known use of early on was in 1759

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Statistics for early on

Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Early on.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early%20on. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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