1. 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
Similar word(s): aboriginal, primaeval, primal, primeval, primordial, advance, beforehand, archaean, archean, archaeozoic, archeozoic, azoic, earlier, earliest, earlyish, premature, untimely, previous, proterozoic, proto, wee, first
2. being or occurring at an early stage of development
- in an early stage
- early forms of life
- early man
3. belonging to the distant past
- the early inhabitants of Europe
4. very young
- at an early age
5. 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
Similar word(s): old
6. expected in the near future
- look for an early end to the negotiations
Similar word(s): future
Sentences with early as an adjective:
- at eleven, we went for an early lunch;
- 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.
- 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 cancer
1. during an early stage
- early on in her career
2. before the usual time or the time expected
- she graduated early
3. in good time
Similar word(s): betimes
Sentences with early as an adverb:
- We finished the project an hour sooner than scheduled, so we left early.
1. A shift (scheduled work period) that takes place early in the day.