The definition of early is near the beginning, or belonging to a previous time.(adjective)
Early is defined as before the expected time, or soon after the start.(adverb)
An example of early is showing up to a dinner party fifteen minutes before it starts.
See early in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: ME erli < OE ærlic, adv. (> ærlic, adj.) < ær, before (see ere) + -lice, adv. suffix (see -ly, like)
See early in American Heritage Dictionary 4
adjective ear·li·er, ear·li·est
Origin: Middle English erli
Origin: , from Old English ǣrlīce
Origin: : ǣr, before; see ayer- in Indo-European roots
Origin: + -līce, adv. suff.; see -ly2.
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