pre·​ma·​ture | \ ˌprē-mə-ˈtyu̇r How to pronounce premature (audio) , -ˈtu̇r, -ˈchu̇r also ˌpre- How to pronounce premature (audio) \

Definition of premature

: happening, arriving, existing, or performed before the proper, usual, or intended time especially : born after a gestation period of less than 37 weeks premature babies

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Other Words from premature

premature noun
prematurely adverb
prematureness noun
prematurity \ ˌprē-​mə-​ˈtyu̇r-​ə-​tē How to pronounce prematurity (audio) , -​ˈtu̇r-​ , -​ˈchu̇r-​ How to pronounce prematurity (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for premature



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Examples of premature in a Sentence

Her premature death at age 30 stunned her family and friends. Too much exposure to the sun can cause the premature aging of skin.
Recent Examples on the Web But even among those not so involved in preserving Key deer, the move to strike them from the Endangered Species List seemed premature. Dan Sweeney,, "Key deer still deserve protection as endangered species, readers say," 19 Aug. 2019 The latter seems premature, but the Cornhuskers will be in strong contention for the third spot in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and Michigan. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Six teams snubbed from the preseason Amway Coaches Poll," 1 Aug. 2019 But to reify the candidates who are speaking in a very adamant way and say that will sink the Democrats seems, to me, premature. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Pelosi-Versus-Squad Paradigm," 18 July 2019 That would have resulted in a premature step away from the elite table of world football for a player who looked primed to replace Ronaldo as the darling of the Bernabeu. Daniel Gallan, CNN, "Could Gareth Bale be Real Madrid's unlikely hero this season?," 2 Sep. 2019 By the time our boys grow up, that bravery mindset has them applying for premature promotions, asking for outsized raises, launching startups with abandon. Reshma Saujani, Fortune, "Girls Who Code CEO: Men Need to Be Brave in the Service of Women," 20 Aug. 2019 Many scientists and environmentalists say the move is premature and could undermine chemical regulation. Jeff Tollefson, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Concerned over U.S. Environmental Agency’s Plan to Limit Animal Research," 11 Sep. 2019 Rosengren reiterated his view that the economy should continue to expand at a relatively healthy rate, making calls to lower interest rates premature., "The week in business," 8 Sep. 2019 Lewandowksi put pen to paper on fresh terms in Bavaria recently, committing to the club until 2023 to end speculation of a premature departure from Munich., "Robert Lewandowski Makes Not So Subtle Dig at Borussia Dortmund After Flying Start to Season," 8 Sep. 2019

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

circa 1529, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for premature

Latin praematurus too early, from prae- + maturus ripe, mature

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Statistics for premature

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for premature

The first known use of premature was circa 1529

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More Definitions for premature


How to pronounce premature (audio) How to pronounce premature (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of premature

: happening too soon or earlier than usual
: born before the normal time


pre·​ma·​ture | \ ˌprē-mə-ˈtu̇r How to pronounce premature (audio) , -ˈtyu̇r, -ˈchu̇r\

Kids Definition of premature

: happening, coming, or done before the usual or proper time : too early a premature decision premature infants

Other Words from premature

prematurely adverb


pre·​ma·​ture | \ -mə-ˈt(y)u̇(ə)r, -ˈchu̇(ə)r, chiefly British ˌprem-ə-\

Medical Definition of premature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: happening, arriving, existing, or performed before the proper, usual, or intended time premature puberty premature aging especially : born after a gestation period of less than 37 weeks premature babies

Other Words from premature

prematurely adverb



Medical Definition of premature (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on premature

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


to spread as a report or rumor

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