What is the meaning of early?


  • At or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time.
    • usage: "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"
  • Being or occurring at an early stage of development.
    • usage: "in an early stage"; "early forms of life"; "early man"; "an early computer"
  • Belonging to the distant past.
    • usage: "the early inhabitants of Europe"; "former generations"; "in other times"
  • Very young.
    • usage: "at an early age"
  • Of an early stage in the development of a language or literature.
    • usage: "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"
  • Expected in the near future.
    • usage: "look for an early end to the negotiations"


  • During an early stage.
    • usage: "early on in her career"
  • Before the usual time or the time expected.
    • usage: "she graduated early"; "the house was completed ahead of time"
  • In good time.
    • usage: "he awoke betimes that morning"
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APAWordNet. (2010). early. Retrieved February 17, 2019, from http://smartdefine.org/early/definitions/1173020
ChicagoWordNet. 2010. "early" http://smartdefine.org/early/definitions/1173020 (accessed February 17, 2019).
HarvardWordNet 2010, early, Smart Define, viewed 17 February, 2019, <http://smartdefine.org/early/definitions/1173020>.
MLAWordNet. "early" 23 October 2010. Web. 17 February 2019. <http://smartdefine.org/early/definitions/1173020>
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