Early meaning

ûrlē
Soon in relation to others of its kind.

A rose that was cultivated to bloom early.

adverb
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2
Of or occurring near the beginning of a given series, period of time, or course of events.

In the early morning; scored two runs in the early innings.

adjective
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(person) 1816-94; Confederate general in the Civil War.
proper name
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1
The definition of early is near the beginning, or belonging to a previous time.

An example of early is the first act of a five act performance; an early act.

An example of early is prehistoric humans; early humans.

adjective
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Early is defined as before the expected time, or soon after the start.

An example of early is showing up to a dinner party fifteen minutes before it starts.

adverb
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Occurring, developing, or appearing before the expected or usual time.

An early spring; an early retirement.

adjective
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Occurring in the near future.

Hoped for an early end to the negotiations.

adjective
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At or during a remote or initial period.

Decided very early to go into medicine.

adverb
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Before the expected or usual time.

Arrived at the meeting a few minutes early.

adverb
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Near the beginning of a given period of time or of a series, as of events; soon after the start.
adverb
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Before the expected or customary time.
adverb
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In the far distant past; in ancient or remote times.
adverb
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In the near future; before much time has passed.
adverb
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At a time in advance of the usual or expected event.

At eleven, we went for an early lunch; she began reading at an early age; his mother suffered an early death.

adjective
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Arriving a time before expected; sooner than on time.

You're early today! I don't usually see you before nine o'clock.

The early guests sipped their punch and avoided each other's eyes.

adjective
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Near the start or beginning.

The play "Two Gentlemen of Verona" is one of Shakespeare's early works.

Early results showed their winning 245 out of 300 seats in parliament. The main opponent locked up only 31 seats.

adjective
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Having begun to occur; in its early stages.

Early cancer.

adjective
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At a time before expected; sooner than usual.

We finished the project an hour sooner than scheduled, so we left early.

adverb
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Soon; in good time; seasonably.
adverb
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A shift (scheduled work period) that takes place early in the day.
noun
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Maturing or developing relatively soon.

An early variety of tomato.

adjective
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early on
  • At an early stage or point:
    Early on in the movie, the main character loses his job.
idiom
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early on
  • at an early stage; near the beginning
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Adjective

Base Form:
early
Comparative
earlier
Superlative
earliest

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of early

  • Middle English erli from Old English ǣrlīce ǣr before ayer- in Indo-European roots -līce adv. suff. –ly2

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English erly, erli, Old English ǣrlīce, from ǣr (“before, ere”) + adverbial suffix -līce. Cognate with Old Norse árla (> Danish and Norwegian årle, Swedish arla, Faroese árla)

    From Wiktionary