in or during the first part of a period of time, a course of action, a series of events, etc.: early in the year.
in the early part of the morning: to get up early.
before the usual or appointed time; ahead of time: They came early and found their hosts still dressing.
far back in time: The Greeks early learned to sail and navigate.
occurring in the first part of a period of time, a course of action, a series of events, etc.: an early hour of the day.
occurring before the usual or appointed time: an early dinner.
belonging to a period far back in time: early French architecture.
occurring in the near future: I look forward to an early reply.
(of a fruit or vegetable) appearing or maturing before most others of its type: early apples.
a fruit or vegetable that appears before most others of its type.
Idioms about early
early on, with but little time elapsed; early in the course of a process, project, etc.; early in the game.
- ear·li·ness, noun
Other definitions for Early (2 of 2)
Ju·bal Anderson [joo-buhl], /ˈdʒu bəl/, 1816–94, Confederate general in the U.S. Civil War.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use early in a sentence
Earlier this week, Huckabee ended his Fox News talk show so he could spend time mulling another bid for the Republican nomination.Huckabee 2016: Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner! | Olivia Nuzzi | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
In 2007, Huckabee said he stood by these earlier remarks, but would phrase them differently.
He was also a charismatic, telegenic speaker with a face improved by plastic surgery several years earlier.
An F-35 was destroyed on takeoff earlier in the year when a design flaw in its Pratt & Whitney F135 engine sparked a fire.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019 | Dave Majumdar | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The pilot had earlier called air-traffic control reporting heavy clouds and asked to move up to 38,000 feet from 32,000 feet.The Presumed Crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Is Nothing Like MH370 | Lennox Samuels | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The reformers of the earlier period were not indifferent to the need for centralized organization in the banking system.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
But a little earlier still, to be an Infidel was to be an outlaw, subject to the penalty of death.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
The poverty of earlier days was the outcome of the insufficiency of human labor to meet the primal needs of human kind.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
His lordship during the earlier part of his reign never came near Walls End Castle.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
The explanation of his mysterious earlier moods offered itself with a clarity that was ghastly.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for early
before the expected or usual time
occurring in or characteristic of the first part of a period or sequence
occurring in or characteristic of a period far back in time
occurring in the near future
at the earliest not before the time or date mentioned
early days too soon to tell how things will turn out
before the expected or usual time
near the first part of a period or sequence: I was talking to him earlier
- earliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with early
In addition to the idioms beginning with early
- early bird catches the worm
- early on
- early to bed, early to rise (makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise)
- bright and early
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.