early

early
1 adjective
1 NEAR THE BEGINNING near to the beginning of a day, year, someone's life etc: We've booked two weeks' holiday in early May. | Her early life was miserably unhappy. | in the early days (=at the beginning of a process, project etc): In the early days we used to work Saturdays as well.
2 BEFORE THE USUAL TIME arriving or happening before the usual or expected time: Hey, you're early! It's only five o'clock! | The rains are early this year. | five minutes early/three hours early etc: The bus was ten minutes early. | an early grave (=dying too soon)
3 NOT TOO LATE near enough to the beginning of a process to prevent something bad from happening: There is far less risk with cancer if it is detected early.
4 FIRST (only before noun) being one of the first people, events, machines etc: Early motor cars had very poor brakes. | early man
5 it's early days spoken used to say that it is too soon to be sure about what the result of something will be: She's having a few problems with the coursework at school but it's early days yet.
6 at/from an early age at or since a time when you were very young: At an early age she decided she wanted to be a surgeon.
7 make an early start to start an activity, journey etc very early in the day because you have a lot to do, far to go etc
8 the early hours the time between midnight and morning: Order was restored in the prison in the early hours of Saturday morning.
9 early night if you have an early night you go to bed earlier than usual: I could really do with an early night!
10 early bird someone who always gets up very early in the morning: Seven? No problem! I'm a real early bird!
11 the early bird catches the worm used to say that someone is successful because they were the first to do something
12 early riser someone who always gets up early in the morning
13 early potatoes/lettuces/avocados etc potatoes etc that are ready to be picked before any others
2 adverb
1 before the usual, arranged, or expected time: I arrived early, to make sure of a seat. | The play ended early so we still had time for a drink.
2 near the beginning of a day, week, or other period of time: Early the following day he phoned to apologize.
3 near the beginning of an event, story, process etc: Early in the film we see Paul's violent temper.
4 early on at an early stage in a relationship, process etc: I realized early on I'd never pass the exam.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • early — adv Early, soon, beforehand, betimes share the meaning of at or nearly at a given point of time or around the beginning of a specified or implied period of time. Early is used chiefly in reference to a period of time (as a day, a lifetime, an age …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Early — may refer to:History * the beginning or oldest part of a defined historical period, as opposed to middle or late periods. ** e.g., Early modern EuropePlaces: *In the United States: ** Early, Iowa ** Early, Texas ** Early County, GeorgiaPeople: *… …   Wikipedia

  • Early — ist der Name von Personen: Jubal Anderson Early (1816–1894), General der Konföderierten James M. Early (1922–2004), US amerikanischer Elektrotechnik Ingenieur Peter Early (1773−1817), US amerikanischer Politiker und Gouverneur von Georgia Orte in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Early — Ear ly, a. [Compar. {Earlier} ([ e]r l[i^]*[ e]r); superl. {Earliest}.] [OE. earlich. [root]204. See {Early}, adv.] 1. In advance of the usual or appointed time; in good season; prior in time; among or near the first; opposed to {late}; as, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • early — ► ADJECTIVE (earlier, earliest) & ADVERB 1) before the usual or expected time. 2) of or at the beginning of a particular time, period, or sequence. ● at the earliest Cf. ↑at the earliest ● early bird …   English terms dictionary

  • early — [adj1] in the beginning a bit previous, aboriginal, ancient, antecedent, antediluvian, antiquated, brand new, budding, early bird*, fresh, initial, new, original, preceding, premier, prevenient, previous, primal, prime, primeval, primitive,… …   New thesaurus

  • Early B — Early B, de son vrai nom Earlando Arrington Neil, est un deejay jamaïcain né en 1956 à Kingston (Jamaïque) et décédé le 9 novembre 1994. Il était surnommé The Doctor. Discographie 1984 Four Wheel No Real (Midnight Rock) Singles: Cane Man A Fe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Early — Early, IA U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 605 Housing Units (2000): 293 Land area (2000): 0.394821 sq. miles (1.022582 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.394821 sq. miles (1.022582 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Early — Ear ly ([ e]r l[y^]), adv. [OE. erli, erliche, AS. [=ae]rl[=i]ce; [=ae]r sooner + l[=i]c like. See {Ere}, and {Like}.] Soon; in good season; seasonably; betimes; as, come early. [1913 Webster] Those that me early shall find me. Prov. viii. 17.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • early — O.E. ærlic early, from ær soon, ere (see ERE (Cf. ere)) + lice, adverbial suffix (see LY (Cf. ly) (2)). Cf. O.N. arliga early. The early bird of the proverb is from 1670s. Related: Earlier; earliest …   Etymology dictionary

  • early on — is first recorded in BrE in 1928 and only later in AmE. It is a kind of back formation from earlier on, itself modelled on later on (first recorded 1822). Early on and earlier on are both now common in both BrE and AmE: • The BBC recognised early …   Modern English usage

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