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Meaning & Definition of Early in English

English

Early

/ərli/

adjective

1. At or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time

  • "Early morning"
  • "An early warning"
  • "Early diagnosis"
  • "An early death"
  • "Took early retirement"
  • "An early spring"
  • "Early varieties of peas and tomatoes mature before most standard varieties"
    synonym:
  • early

2. Being or occurring at an early stage of development

  • "In an early stage"
  • "Early forms of life"
  • "Early man"
  • "An early computer"
    synonym:
  • early

3. Belonging to the distant past

  • "The early inhabitants of europe"
  • "Former generations"
  • "In other times"
    synonym:
  • early(a)
  • ,
  • former(a)
  • ,
  • other(a)

4. Very young

  • "At an early age"
    synonym:
  • early

5. Of an early stage in the development of a language or literature

  • "The early hebrew alphabetical script is that used mainly from the 11th to the 6th centuries b.c."
  • "Early modern english is represented in documents printed from 1476 to 1700"
    synonym:
  • early

6. Expected in the near future

  • "Look for an early end to the negotiations"
    synonym:
  • early

adverb

1. During an early stage

  • "Early on in her career"
    synonym:
  • early on
  • ,
  • early

2. Before the usual time or the time expected

  • "She graduated early"
  • "The house was completed ahead of time"
    synonym:
  • early
  • ,
  • ahead of time
  • ,
  • too soon

3. In good time

  • "He awoke betimes that morning"
    synonym:
  • early
  • ,
  • betimes

Examples of using

It's too early to decide.
We shouldn't have gotten up so early.
We went to the theater early to get good seats.