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Definition of "early" []

  • 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)
  • Of or belonging to a previous or remote period of time: the early inhabitants of the British Isles. (adjective)
  • Of or belonging to an initial stage of development: an early form of life; an early computer. (adjective)
  • Occurring, developing, or appearing before the expected or usual time: an early spring; an early retirement. (adjective)
  • Maturing or developing relatively soon: an early variety of tomato. (adjective)
  • Before the expected or usual time (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Occurring in or characteristic of the first part of a period or sequence (adjective)
  • Occurring in or characteristic of a period far back in time (adjective)
  • Occurring in the near future (adjective)
  • Near the first part of a period or sequence (adverb)

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Use "early" in a sentence
  • "Thirty-five perished at an indefinitely early date; hence it follows that Zonaras has only Books One to Twenty-one at hand to use for his account of _early_ Rome; besides these he has later employed Books"
  • "Ah, how many of those that heard the early ones are laid in their graves; and how many of them were laid in _early_ graves; and how many of them said, as some of you are saying, 'When I get older I will turn religious'!"
  • "They soon discovered, that to rise early, they must _go to bed early_; and thus was this most important object secured, with regard to girls as well as boys."