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

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-​ˈchu̇r-​ə-​tē How to pronounce premature (audio) , -​ˈchər , -​ˈtu̇r-​ , -​ˈtyu̇r-​ How to pronounce premature (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 What is disheartening about the NFL era of Sam Cunningham is that it has been diluted and denigrated by CTE cases, premature deaths, and the exploitation of these athletes by a league that essentially disregarded them after their retirement., 8 Sep. 2021 But their lives, dedicated to the service of others, were as similar as their premature, unnecessary deaths: Both women were slain while traveling on Chicago-area interstates. Zach Harris,, 28 Aug. 2021 Other cities have varying requirements for reporting premature deaths and gunshot injuries to either law enforcement or public health agencies, Hollenbach and Piagentini said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, 18 Aug. 2021 Following a faster emissions reduction path instead of letting emissions continue to grow unabated would reduce premature deaths from about 83 million to nine million by 2100. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, 29 July 2021 That research also found popularizing clean energy would save $1.7 trillion in health and environmental costs, and avoid 93,000 premature deaths. Cara Korte, CBS News, 26 July 2021 As noted above, gas causes lots of asthma and premature deaths. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 12 May 2021 These include: Improving air quality to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55%. Dave Keating, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Research suggests that reducing meat consumption could reduce global mortality by 6% to 10%, preventing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, 11 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for premature

Time Traveler

The first known use of premature was circa 1529

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Premature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for premature



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)

More from Merriam-Webster on premature

Nglish: Translation of premature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of premature for Arabic Speakers


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