Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of early
Meaning of early by Wiktionary Dictionary



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


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈɜː( ɹ ).li/, X-SAMPA: /"3:( r ).li/
    • Rhymes: -ɜː( r )li
    • ( GenAm ) IPA: /ˈɝli/. X-SAMPA: /"3`li/
    • Hyphenation: ear‧ly


    early ( comparative earlier, superlative earliest )

    1. 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 .
    2. 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 .
    3. 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 .




    early ( comparative earlier, superlative earliest )

    1. At a time before expected; sooner than usual .
      We finished the project an hour sooner than scheduled, so we left early .




    early ( plural: earlies )

    1. A shift ( scheduled work period ) that takes place early in the day.



Explanation of early by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. before the usual time or the time expected

    2. she graduated early
    3. in good time

    4. during an early stage

    5. early on in her career
    1. at or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time

    2. 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
    3. being or occurring at an early stage of development

    4. in an early stage
      early forms of life
      early man
      an early computer
    5. of an early stage in the development of a language or literature

    6. 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
    7. very young

    8. at an early age
    9. belonging to the distant past

    10. the early inhabitants of Europe
    11. expected in the near future

    12. look for an early end to the negotiations