What does early mean?

Definitions for early
ˈɜr liear·ly

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word early.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. early(adj)

    at or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time

    "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"

  2. early(adj)

    being or occurring at an early stage of development

    "in an early stage"; "early forms of life"; "early man"; "an early computer"

  3. early(a), former(a), other(a)(adj)

    belonging to the distant past

    "the early inhabitants of Europe"; "former generations"; "in other times"

  4. early(adj)

    very young

    "at an early age"

  5. early(adj)

    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"

  6. early(adverb)

    expected in the near future

    "look for an early end to the negotiations"

  7. early on, early(adverb)

    during an early stage

    "early on in her career"

  8. early, ahead of time, too soon(adverb)

    before the usual time or the time expected

    "she graduated early"; "the house was completed ahead of time"

  9. early, betimes(adverb)

    in good time

    "he awoke betimes that morning"


  1. early(Noun)

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

  2. early(Adverb)

    At a time before expected; sooner than usual.

    We finished the project an hour sooner than scheduled, so we left early.

  3. early(Adjective)

    At a time in advance of the usual or expected event.

  4. early(Adjective)

    Arriving a time before expected; sooner than on-time.

  5. early(Adjective)

    Near the start or beginning.

  6. Origin: From erly, erli, ærlice, from ær + adverbial suffix -lice. Cognate with Old Norse árla ( > Danish and Norwegian årle, Swedish arla)

Webster Dictionary

  1. Early(adverb)

    soon; in good season; seasonably; betimes; as, come early

  2. Early(adverb)

    in advance of the usual or appointed time; in good season; prior in time; among or near the first; -- opposed to late; as, the early bird; an early spring; early fruit

  3. Early(adverb)

    coming in the first part of a period of time, or among the first of successive acts, events, etc

  4. Origin: [OE. erli, erliche, AS. rlce; r sooner + lc like. See Ere, and Like.]


  1. Early

    Early is a city located in Brown County in west-central Texas. The population was 2,762 at the 2010 census. It is named for Walter U. Early, who donated land for the schools. It is home to the Early Independent School District and the Heartland Mall.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Early

    ėr′li, adj. in good season: at or near the beginning of the day: relating to the beginning: happening in the near future.—adv. near the beginning: soon.—n. Ear′liness.—Early and late, at all times; Early bird, an early riser; Early English (archit.), generally applied to the form of Gothic in which the pointed arch was first employed in Britain. The Early English succeeded the Norman towards the end of the 12th century, and merged into the Decorated at the end of the 13th.—Keep early hours, to rise and go to bed betimes; Small and early (coll.), applied to evening parties; The early bird catches the worm, a proverb in favour of early rising. [A.S. árlíceǽr, before.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'early' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #311

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'early' in Written Corpus Frequency: #794

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'early' in Adverbs Frequency: #124

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'early' in Adjectives Frequency: #18

Anagrams for early »

  1. relay, re-lay

  2. layer

How to pronounce early?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say early in sign language?

  1. early


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of early in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of early in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of early in a Sentence

  1. Brooke Bristow:

    It is still early on.

  2. John Bottimore:

    It's very early days.

  3. Candice Bergen:

    I was home very early.

  4. John Thune:

    We're in the early stages.

  5. Bruce Mann:

    It's a bit early for that.

Images & Illustrations of early

  1. earlyearlyearlyearlyearly

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Translations for early

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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