[ UK /ˈɜːli/ ]
[ US /ˈɝɫi/ ]
  1. very young
    at an early age
  2. being or occurring at an early stage of development
    early man
    in an early stage
    early forms of life
    an early computer
  3. 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
  4. belonging to the distant past
    former generations
    the early inhabitants of Europe
    in other times
  5. at or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time
    an early warning
    took early retirement
    an early death
    early varieties of peas and tomatoes mature before most standard varieties
    an early spring
    early diagnosis
    early morning
  6. expected in the near future
    look for an early end to the negotiations
  1. before the usual time or the time expected
    she graduated early
    the house was completed ahead of time
  2. during an early stage
    early on in her career
  3. in good time
    he awoke betimes that morning
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How To Use early In A Sentence

  • He called the foiled butt "Really juicy and nearly perfect. Physicist Cracks BBQ Mystery
  • If there was any hope of holding on to even a shred of her dwindling self-respect, she should do exactly what she knew Margo would do—close the laptop, take her de-scrunchied, perfumed, and nearly thonged self down to the nearest club, pick up the first passably good-looking stranger who asked her to dance, and bring him back to the apartment for some safe but anonymous sex. Goodnight Tweetheart
  • It should be a baritone scoring game and the unfortunate should be in early disceptation for a top 3 pick. Xml's Blinklist.com
  • Sometime in the early eighteen hundreds, they trekked to the flat plain between the Ohio River and Lake Erie and settled in Mount Vernon, which was then a few small buildings in a forest of tall trees. A Renegade History of the United States
  • It may be a little early but I was just wondering if you could characterize the impact of the label amendment in terms of the new patient starts in to the new year? SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page
  • Early plans for a bit of work were killed off when he lost his job.
  • Some spring from immediately below the earth, and may more properly be termed suckers; the others grow on the visible part of the stem or caudex, often close to the oldest leaves; these should be cut off with a sharp knife, in early summer, and if they have a little of the parent bark attached to them all the better. Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers Describing the Most Desirable Plants, for Borders, Rockeries, and Shrubberies.
  • The opposite change occurs in what are termed fastigiate varieties, where the branches, in place of assuming more or less of a horizontal direction, become erect and nearly parallel with the main stem as in the Vegetable Teratology An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants
  • It was a simple rectangle of crudely mounded basalt rocks, a distinctive arrangement reminiscent of the way Samoans and other Polynesians marked their dead in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • Both cultivars were clearly distinguishable on the dendrogram.
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