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 prematurity (audio) , -​ˈchər , -​ˈtu̇r-​ , -​ˈtyu̇r-​ 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 some officials in Washington quickly dubbed the president's remarks premature. Fox News, "Ted Cruz slams Dems, claims they're 'facilitating' riots, violence in major US cities," 5 Aug. 2020 The American Cancer Society also said that UV light can cause premature aging and signs of damage such as wrinkles, leather skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis and solar elastosis. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "What is UV light and can it kill the coronavirus? Here's everything you need to know," 4 Aug. 2020 But this situation is still evolving by the hour, so any speculation on that would be premature and not exactly near the top of priorities as a new season schedule is mapped in this most unusual of college football seasons. Michael Casagrande |, al, "What new SEC schedule means for Alabama, questions that remain," 30 July 2020 As for the broader prospect of banks snapping up crypto firms, much of the excitement may be premature. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Now that banks can hold Bitcoin, crypto M&A rumors are swirling," 29 July 2020 Others feared both proposals were premature and required more thought. Liz Navratil, Star Tribune, "Minneapolis Charter Commission holds hearing on its police proposal," 28 July 2020 Trump’s declaration of energy independence is premature. Calvin Woodward, The Denver Post, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump says Pelosi, Dems defended Iran general," 12 Jan. 2020 The twins, Ada and Livvi, were born eight weeks premature on July 3, ESPN reported. Ashley Boucher,, "Giants' Buster Posey Won't Play This Season to Protect the Health of Newborn Twins amid Coronavirus," 10 July 2020 One federal lawsuit alleged that a female prisoner’s premature baby died after she was delivered into a toilet. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "Say goodbye to the ugliest building in Dallas — and hello to new playgrounds along the Trinity," 9 July 2020

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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Statistics for premature

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Premature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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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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