premature

adjective

pre·​ma·​ture ˌprē-mə-ˈchu̇r How to pronounce premature (audio)
-ˈchər,
 also  -ˈtu̇r,
-ˈtyu̇r How to pronounce premature (audio)
 also  ˌpre-
: 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
premature noun
prematurely adverb
prematureness noun
prematurity noun

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 Biden’s boastful claim that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine gave new life and purpose to NATO has proved premature. Arthur Herman, National Review, 9 July 2024 Generally, breastfeeding is recommended for infants in high-risk situations, especially for premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Vincent Iannelli, Parents, 9 July 2024 This news had been initially reported at the start of free agency last week, though James L. Edwards III of The Athletic had warned at the time that those reports were premature, and the team was finessing some elements of the agreement before it would be ratified. David Faris, Newsweek, 9 July 2024 One 2023 study published in the Lancet found chronic dehydration can lead to premature aging, chronic disease (including heart failure, diabetes, and dementia), and premature death. Jamie Friedlander Serrano, TIME, 8 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for premature 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1529, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of premature was circa 1529

Dictionary Entries Near premature

Cite this Entry

“Premature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/premature. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

premature

adjective
: happening, coming, existing, or done before the proper or usual time
especially : born after a period of pregnancy of less than 37 weeks
premature babies
prematurely adverb

Medical Definition

premature

1 of 2 adjective
pre·​ma·​ture
-mə-ˈt(y)u̇(ə)r, -ˈchu̇(ə)r, chiefly British ˌprem-ə-
: 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
prematurely adverb

premature

2 of 2 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on premature

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!