early */*/*/

early */*/*/
I UK [ˈɜː(r)lɪ] / US [ˈɜrlɪ] adjective
Word forms "early":
adjective early comparative earlier superlative earliest
1) [usually before noun] near the beginning of a period of time

In the early 1980s, several thousand jobs were lost.

The temperature drops to below freezing in the early evening.

The plants flower in early spring.

a) used about periods in someone's life

From an early age, Chaplin believed in his talents.

memories of my early childhood

Julia is in her early thirties.

b) used about the first part of an activity, process, or event

The project is still in its very early stages.

It is too early to predict whether the unemployment rate has peaked.

in the early days (= soon after something began):

We didn't think much about the environment in those early days.

c) used about periods of history

in the early Middle Ages

2)
a) before the time that something usually happens

Spring was unusually early that year.

Let's have an early lunch and then go to the cinema.

Is it too early to phone them?

b) before the time that something is expected or arranged to happen

My train was ten minutes early.

early for:

You're a little early for the party.

3) used about the first people or things of a particular type

The early settlers used to heat their cabins with coal.

early editions of the novel

4) early crops or flowers are ready to be picked before others of the same type

early peaches/roses

See:
the earliest, night I, opportunity

II UK [ˈɜː(r)lɪ] / US [ˈɜrlɪ] adverb
Word forms "early":
comparative earlier superlative earliest
1) before the usual or expected time

I don't get up very early.

The flight arrived ten minutes early.

2) near the beginning of a period of time

Let's meet again early next week.

early in:

These simple plants appeared very early in the history of life on Earth.

a) near the beginning of someone's life

His genius as a musician was shown very early.

early in:

She was widowed very early in life.

b) near the beginning of an event or activity
early in:

It's best not to rush things this early in your career.

3) near the beginning of a piece of writing
early in:

This point was discussed earlier in the chapter.

4) soon enough to avoid problems

If we begin the treatment early, we have a better chance of success.


English dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • early — adv Early, soon, beforehand, betimes share the meaning of at or nearly at a given point of time or around the beginning of a specified or implied period of time. Early is used chiefly in reference to a period of time (as a day, a lifetime, an age …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Early — may refer to:History * the beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period, as opposed to middle or late periods. ** e.g., Early modern EuropePlaces: *In the United States: ** Early, Iowa ** Early, Texas ** Early County, GeorgiaPeople: *… …   Wikipedia

  • Early — ist der Name von Personen: Jubal Anderson Early (1816–1894), General der Konföderierten James M. Early (1922–2004), US amerikanischer Elektrotechnik Ingenieur Peter Early (1773−1817), US amerikanischer Politiker und Gouverneur von Georgia Orte in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Early — Ear ly, a. [Compar. {Earlier} ([ e]r l[i^]*[ e]r); superl. {Earliest}.] [OE. earlich. [root]204. See {Early}, adv.] 1. In advance of the usual or appointed time; in good season; prior in time; among or near the first; opposed to {late}; as, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • early — ► ADJECTIVE (earlier, earliest) & ADVERB 1) before the usual or expected time. 2) of or at the beginning of a particular time, period, or sequence. ● at the earliest Cf. ↑at the earliest ● early bird …   English terms dictionary

  • early — [adj1] in the beginning a bit previous, aboriginal, ancient, antecedent, antediluvian, antiquated, brand new, budding, early bird*, fresh, initial, new, original, preceding, premier, prevenient, previous, primal, prime, primeval, primitive,… …   New thesaurus

  • Early B — Early B, de son vrai nom Earlando Arrington Neil, est un deejay jamaïcain né en 1956 à Kingston (Jamaïque) et décédé le 9 novembre 1994. Il était surnommé The Doctor. Discographie 1984 Four Wheel No Real (Midnight Rock) Singles: Cane Man A Fe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Early — Early, IA U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 605 Housing Units (2000): 293 Land area (2000): 0.394821 sq. miles (1.022582 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.394821 sq. miles (1.022582 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Early — Ear ly ([ e]r l[y^]), adv. [OE. erli, erliche, AS. [=ae]rl[=i]ce; [=ae]r sooner + l[=i]c like. See {Ere}, and {Like}.] Soon; in good season; seasonably; betimes; as, come early. [1913 Webster] Those that me early shall find me. Prov. viii. 17.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • early — O.E. ærlic early, from ær soon, ere (see ERE (Cf. ere)) + lice, adverbial suffix (see LY (Cf. ly) (2)). Cf. O.N. arliga early. The early bird of the proverb is from 1670s. Related: Earlier; earliest …   Etymology dictionary

  • early on — is first recorded in BrE in 1928 and only later in AmE. It is a kind of back formation from earlier on, itself modelled on later on (first recorded 1822). Early on and earlier on are both now common in both BrE and AmE: • The BBC recognised early …   Modern English usage

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