early on


: at or during an early point or stage
the reasons were obvious early on in the experiment
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 Roslyn McManus, identified in the complaint as a 54-year-old African American woman hired in December 2019, saw signs of discrimination early on in her two-year stint at the restaurant chain, the documents say. Julia Coin, Charlotte Observer, 6 Feb. 2024 Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster, however fans can get tickets early on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. through Thursday ending at 10 p.m. on Ticketmaster with the code DICKIES. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 6 Feb. 2024 Gaffigan said early on that the evening was not a roast, and then naturally proceeded to make his portions of the show mostly that. Chris Willman, Variety, 3 Feb. 2024 The district started the 2023-24 school year dismissing early on Wednesdays to allow teachers to meet in their professional development communities. Lynn Kutter, arkansasonline.com, 2 Feb. 2024 Wright is set to give testimony early on, with much of the rest of the trial to be spent examining the credibility of the documentary evidence on which his claim to be Nakamoto depends. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 2 Feb. 2024 After wrecking one of his sportscars in a fairly hilarious accident early on, he’s sentenced to clean up a public park in his old hood. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2024 His campaign appeared to be overspending early on, straining its financial resources and cutting staff heading into fall of last year. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, 21 Jan. 2024 But a couple of familiar names — BlackRock and Fidelity — set themselves apart from the pack early on with higher trading volumes, which can translate into lower costs for investors. Tara Siegel Bernard, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'early on.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1759, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of early on was in 1759

Dictionary Entries Near early on

Cite this Entry

“Early on.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early%20on. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

early on

: at or during an early point or stage
had decided early on not to accept
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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