early

[ ur-lee ]
/ ˈɜr li /
|||

adverb, ear·li·er, ear·li·est.

adjective, ear·li·er, ear·li·est.

noun, plural ear·lies.

a fruit or vegetable that appears before most others of its type.

Nearby words

  1. earlier han,
  2. earliest,
  3. earlobe,
  4. earlock,
  5. earlship,
  6. early adopter,
  7. early american,
  8. early bird,
  9. early bird catches the worm,
  10. early blight

Idioms

    early on, with but little time elapsed; early in the course of a process, project, etc.; early in the game.

Origin of early

before 950; Middle English erlich (adj.), erliche (adv.), Old English ǣrlīc, ǣrlīce, mutated variant of ārlīc, ārlīce, equivalent to ār- early (positive of ǣr ere) + līc(e) -ly

Related formsear·li·ness, noun

Early

[ ur-lee ]
/ ˈɜr li /

noun

Ju·bal Anderson [joo-buh l] /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. 2019

Examples from the Web for early


British Dictionary definitions for early

early

/ (ˈɜːlɪ) /

adjective -lier or -liest

adverb -lier

before the expected or usual time
near the first part of a period or sequenceI was talking to him earlier
Derived Formsearliness, noun

Word Origin for early

Old English ǣrlīce, from ǣr ere + -līce -ly ²; related to Old Norse arliga

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

Word Origin and History for early

early

adv.

Old English ærlic "early," from ær "soon, ere" (see ere) + -lice, adverbial suffix (see -ly (2)). Cf. Old Norse arliga "early." The early bird of the proverb is from 1670s. Related: Earlier; earliest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with early

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)

also see:

  • 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.