early

adverb
ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē How to pronounce early (audio) \
earlier; earliest

Definition of early

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : near the beginning of a period of time awoke early in the morning
b : near the beginning of a course, process, or series early in his senatorial career
2a : before the usual or expected time the train arrived early
b archaic : soon
c : sooner than related forms these apples bear early

early

adjective
earlier; earliest

Definition of early (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or occurring near the beginning of a period of time, a development, or a series in the early evening the early symptoms of the disease
b(1) : distant in past time
(2) : primitive early tools
2a : occurring before the usual or expected time an early arrival
b : occurring in the near future at your earliest convenience
c : maturing or producing sooner than related forms an early peach

Other Words from early

Adjective

earliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for early

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of early in a Sentence

Adverb Early in his career he moved to the city. a word first recorded early in the 17th century They were trailing by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The package should be arriving early next week. She arrived early to help with the preparations. I got up early to finish packing. Adjective the early symptoms of the disease The early part of the book is better than the later part. We had an early spring this year. We're early. The show doesn't start for half an hour. I've always been an early riser. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Bucks came all the way back from a 14-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to tie the game 105-105 on a Jrue Holiday three-pointer with 43.2 seconds left, and Bobby Portis hit the game-winner off an offensive rebound. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 May 2022 The Kharkiv region, including the major city itself, came under heavy attack early in the war with many of its buildings destroyed by Russian strikes. Mariia Ulianovska, NBC News, 11 May 2022 Global health agencies do not have the money to buy the antivirals or tests, which are crucial because the medication needs to be started early in the course of infection. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, 8 May 2022 Vance came out early with the lead and continued to gain ground throughout the night. cleveland, 3 May 2022 Get the party started a little early with music by Las Fenix, the family Tejano band from Houston; La Calma; and Daniel Lopez y Aventura. San Antonio Express-News, 29 Apr. 2022 Vanderbilt University Medical Center came on early – and their large commitment inspired others. Bill Frist, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 For 14-year-old Lizza Onufrieva, the signs of what that occupation would bring came early to her family’s home in Mariupol’s Ilyich neighborhood, on the first day of the war, Feb. 24. Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 On Friday night, West Linn got the scoring started early. oregonlive, 22 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In-person early voting in primary runoff elections in Texas begins on Monday and runs through Friday. Rick Klein, ABC News, 16 May 2022 The special election and primary will take place June 7, and early voting will be available at vote centers throughout the district. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 May 2022 Jessica Cisneros joined demonstrators just days before early voting begins in her primary runoff against U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, which could be one of the first tests over whether the court leak will galvanize voters. Ashraf Khalil, David Sharp, Anchorage Daily News, 15 May 2022 Jessica Cisneros joined demonstrators just days before early voting begins in her primary runoff against U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, which could be one of the first tests over whether the court leak will galvanize voters. al, 14 May 2022 Jessica Cisneros joined demonstrators just days before early voting begins in her primary runoff against U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, which could be one of the first tests over whether the court leak will galvanize voters. Ashraf Khalil And David Sharp, Chron, 14 May 2022 Jessica Cisneros joined demonstrators just days before early voting begins in her primary runoff against U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, which could be one of the first tests over whether the court leak will galvanize voters. David Sharp, BostonGlobe.com, 14 May 2022 In Friday's hearing, Poynter said Bequette's campaign found out about the error through phone calls from voters after early voting began. Rachel Herzog, Arkansas Online, 14 May 2022 With early voting scheduled to start next Thursday, the ruling came in time to get ballots printed for both in-person voting and voting by mail. Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'early.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of early

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for early

Adverb

Middle English erly, from Old English ǣrlīce, from ǣr early, soon — more at ere

Learn More About early

Time Traveler for early

Time Traveler

The first known use of early was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near early

earlship

early

Early

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Statistics for early

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Early.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/early. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for early

early

adverb
ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē How to pronounce early (audio) \
earlier; earliest

Kids Definition of early

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : at or near the beginning of a period of time woke up early early in my career
2 : before the usual or expected time arrived early

early

adjective
earlier; earliest

Kids Definition of early (Entry 2 of 2)

: occurring near the beginning or before the usual time early morning

Early biographical name

Ear·​ly | \ ˈər-lē How to pronounce Early (audio) \

Definition of Early

Ju*bal \ ˈjü-​bəl How to pronounce Early (audio) \ Anderson 1816–1894 American Confederate general

More from Merriam-Webster on early

Nglish: Translation of early for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of early for Arabic Speakers

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