[ UK /ˈɜːlɪɐ/ ]
[ US /ˈɝɫiɝ/ ]
  1. (comparative and superlative of `early') more early than; most early
    Verdi's earliest and most raucous opera
    a fashion popular in earlier times
    his earlier work reflects the influence of his teacher
  1. earlier in time; previously
    I mentioned that problem earlier
    as I said before
    he called me the day before but your call had come even earlier
    her parents had died four years earlier
    I had known her before
  2. comparatives of `soon' or `early'
    Come a little sooner, if you can
    came earlier than I expected
  3. before now
    why didn't you tell me in the first place?
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How To Use earlier In A Sentence

  • Of course, it was snuffed out because Mars is tectonically dead, so the recycling of chemicals that you get on Earth which keeps things going and supplies the surface biosphere would have actually ceased on Mars a lot earlier.
  • Not feeling hungry again until about ten that night, we strolled along to the same street that had earlier been alive with culinary possibilities. Times, Sunday Times
  • Clearly the megalosaurus in the opening passage of Bleak House is a flight of hyperbolic fancy (inspired, I would guess, by the papier-mâché dinosaurs constructed for the Crystal Palace Exhibition, a couple of years earlier).
  • We would have make it earlier, but I procrastinated with completed and sealed ballots sitting on my desk for a couple of days -- no good excuse, but the reminders to spare the GOTC callers (and ourselves) reminder calls goosed me into action. BlueOregon
  • The term "strategic" came up again earlier this year, when Ontario's provincial government set up a committee to debate a proposed merger between London Stock Exchange Group PLC and TMX Group Inc., operator of Canada's flagship Toronto Stock Exchange. Canada Turns Wary Eye to Foreign Bids
  • Though her color palette has brightened over the years and animal heads have shrunk a bit from cartoonish proportions of earlier years, her distinctive style soft paintings she calls "cutes" and her choice of subject NYT > Home Page
  • U.S. network CNN for what it called biased reports on political unrest and on the alleged assault and torture earlier this month of opposition leaders, including Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main ANC Daily News Briefing
  • The undulating holloway, which has itself sunk through the steady erosion of cartwheels and hooves up to fifteen feet beneath the hillside, translates you from the present into an earlier era when John Nash carved out his woodcuts in English boxwood at the kitchen table under a single lamp-bulb and cultivated the half-wild garden. Wildwood
  • I have nothing to add to my earlier statement.
  • The pace of new auto loans also lost momentum from a month earlier.
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