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early

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English

Etymology

From Middle English erli, Old English ǣrlīce, from ǣr (before) + adverbial suffix -līce.

Pronunciation

Adjective

early (comparative earli, superlative er)

Positive
early

Comparative
earli

Superlative
er

  1. At a time in advance of the usual or expected event.
    At eleven, we went for an early lunch.
    She began reading at an early age.
    His mother suffered an early death.
  2. Arriving a time before expected; sooner than on-time.
    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.
  3. Near the start or beginning.
    The play "Two Gentlemen of Verona" is one of Shakespeare's early works.

Synonyms

  • (at a time in advance of the usual): premature
  • (near the start): first

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Adverb

early (comparative earli, superlative er)

Positive
early

Comparative
earli

Superlative
er

  1. At a time before expected; sooner than usual.
    We finished the project an hour sooner than scheduled, so we left early.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

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