[ pree-muh-choor, -toor, -tyoor, pree-muh-choor or, especially British, prem-uh-, prem-uh- ]
See synonyms for premature on
  1. occurring, coming, or done too soon: a premature announcement.

  2. mature or ripe before the proper time.

  1. a premature infant.

Origin of premature

From the Latin word praemātūrus, dating back to 1520–30. See pre-, mature

Other words from premature

  • pre·ma·ture·ly, adverb
  • pre·ma·tu·ri·ty, pre·ma·ture·ness, noun
  • un·pre·ma·ture, adjective
  • un·pre·ma·ture·ly, adverb
  • un·pre·ma·ture·ness, noun

Words Nearby premature Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use premature in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for premature


/ (ˌprɛməˈtjʊə, ˈprɛməˌtjʊə) /

  1. occurring or existing before the normal or expected time

  2. impulsive or hasty: a premature judgment

  1. (of an infant) weighing less than 2500 g (5 1/2 lbs) and usually born before the end of the full period of gestation

Origin of premature

C16: from Latin praemātūrus, very early, from prae in advance + mātūrus ripe

Derived forms of premature

  • prematurely, adverb
  • prematureness or prematurity, 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