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


early, inopportune, precocious, unseasonable, untimely



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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

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 can bring about a condition known as premature ovarian failure, which is when your ovaries stop working for some reason before age 40, the Mayo Clinic explains. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "So, Let’s Talk About That Whole Fertility and Age 35 Thing," 22 Aug. 2019 The multiyear effort may sound premature and a bit paranoid, as such a quantum computer may never exist. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Cryptographers scramble to protect the internet from hackers with quantum computers," 21 Aug. 2019 Sullivan is partial to the struggle that Toby and Kate (Chrissy Metz) endured during their premature son’s stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. Dan Snierson,, "This Is Us stars choose their favorite scenes from season 3," 20 Aug. 2019 Julius was too premature to survive outside the womb. Jon Michaud, The New Yorker, "Julius: The Story of a Premature Birth," 15 Aug. 2019 The president has discussed with aides the idea of a Rose Garden bill-signing ceremony for gun-control legislation, a notion that seems premature to many in the West Wing. Author: Josh Dawsey, Seung Min Kim, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s openness to extensive background checks for gun buys draws warning from NRA," 8 Aug. 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

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for premature

The first known use of premature was circa 1529

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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)

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Comments on premature

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a bell tower

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